Eloisa James' latest novella, With This Kiss. For my review of the first part, check out last week's post on With This Kiss (Part I).
When we last left our heroine, Lady Grace Ryburn, she had received a marriage proposal from a man she didn't love. Meanwhile, the longtime object of her affections, Colin Barry, had been wounded in battle off the coast of Africa just as he was beginning to realize his own affections for Grace. Thanks bunches, Eloisa James, for leaving us with that very frustrating cliffhanger.
The second part of With This Kiss begins weeks later. Grace has accepted Lord McIngle's proposal and is trying to convince herself that she's happy with her choice. Deep down, she recognizes that she's not in love with McIngle, but as she heartbreakingly explains to her sister, "No man will ever love me in the right way." Grace's quiet dignity is reminiscent of her mother, Theo, in The Ugly Duchess (my review here) and it makes Grace's resignation that much more poignant. Little does Grace know that Colin is about to show up to throw her world into total disarray.
Since we last saw Colin, he has thankfully managed to pull his head out of his arse. No longer does he think he'll woo Grace as a favor to her. Instead, Colin has been having some pretty heady laudanum-induced fantasies starring Grace. The question, though, is how he can honorably win her back from her fiance. Oh, and there's his unfortunate injury to overcome (no spoilers, but suffice it to say that Colin now has his work cut out for him).
As a romance, Part Two of With This Kiss is very satisfying. We finally get some action going and the the scenes where Colin's dreams become reality are very sweet indeed. Nothing is definitively resolved, though, and Colin is going to have to do some quick thinking and damn good explaining to win Grace over in Part Three. Grace herself becomes much more active in this installment, seizing her last chance at happiness while potentially sacrificing her reputation at the same time. I loved Grace's fierceness as she fought for Colin and therefore herself.
A note on pricing: Each of the three installments of the novella are priced at $0.99 and Part III will be released on March 26. If you aren't an ebook fan, As You Wish, a paperback that contains the entire With This Kiss novella plus Seduced by a Pirate (my review here) will be available on March 26, priced at $5.99.
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Length: 30 pages (ebook)
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.