WOW! I mean...WOW! What else can I say, this is the first Robin Schone book I've read and it took me to emotional heights and I'm really impressed I want to read more of her works.
Like the previous books which were worth reading, I hope I give justice to this one through this review. The storyline was a breath of fresh air, the book's tone was heavy, very little to almost no humor at all, and the characters were very well expounded.
This a story of a woman in a loveless marriage who wants to make things work between herself and her husband. "Desperate times call for desperate measures", and Elizabeth, the gently-bred prim and proper English lady was desperate enough to turn to Lord Safyre, Ramiel, also known as the "Bastard Sheikh". She is the embodiment of countless women who suffer the same fate, and are brought up to acknowledge lust as a sin, and wanting too much intimacy with a man is considered nymphomania.
Elizabeth suffered this plight for 16 years of her marriage, with two sons crossing the bridge between childhood and adolescence. One day she can't take it, thus her curiosity awakened. Even at 33, she is still innocent of the pleasures to be had, and all the ways to have it. She represents women all over the world yearning for love, and finding it "forbidden".
I felt for Elizabeth. My heart cried out when her husband rejected her, rejoiced when she started standing up for herself, cheered for her when she and Ramiel finally experienced the erotic pleasures between a man and a woman, angered by the people who hurt her (husband, parents), and touched with her devotion to her children. Through the author's excellent, brilliant, (and I'm running out of praise words here), writing style, she was able to convey the feelings, the insecurities and all of Elizabeth's thoughts.
Ramiel is a different matter. He's not the usual dominant alpha male, he's protective without being oppressive, and I was deeply touched on how he fell for Elizabeth. I liked how Schone kept me on my toes about his past. There's a sneak peek here and there about it, a few flashbacks, and at last the curtain opens to reveal the whole picture.
Everything was a shock and that's all I have to say about the matter. If I were to compare this book to lovemaking, it's full of stimulation until one orgasms, but would hold back like saying not now, more foreplay until the main event, several earth-shattering climaxes, and a gradual catching of breaths; and maybe after a little rest you're ready for round two.
I loved everything about this book, the social issues it tackled, women empowerment, behind the scenes in politics, sexuality, exploring carnal pleasures, and the honest-to-goodness love between a man and a woman. I loved both characters and they were meant to be. They weren't what the other was expecting, and there was the respect they gave each other.
I could not even begin to describe the maximum level of eroticism here, it's way over the top and if I were in Elizabeth's shoes I'd probably blush crimson the whole time every lesson. The images were vivid one could feel it, and the act of lovemaking was reverent. It gave me a different view of the sexual act. Every kiss and caress they shared said it all. Elizabeth shed her inhibitions and embraced her sexuality, while Ramiel the tutor encouraged her, made her feel desirable, incited her lust and instilled there's nothing to be ashamed about it.
I mentioned earlier about the pace of this book, every loose end tied lifted the heaviness in my heart, not knowing I was holding my breath. I don't know the author's writing style so I wasn't really sure if it's a happy ending or not. It was amazing that with just a few pages, all the pent-up tension, frustration, and anger I had dissipated. It had a spanking ending, I especially liked the last sentence.
I wrote this before in my other faves - if I could rate this more than a 5, I'd give it a perfect 10. For fans of erotic historical romance, this one's for you. I guarantee it's worth the read, it has substance and amazing erotica. It's obvious Ms Schone put a lot of effort in research and that's commendable. I highly recommend this to those who're looking for a riveting read that's not only entertaining, but enlightening as well.