I was given a copy of this book by Edelweiss and Avon books in exchange for a honest review. This is the first time that I have read from this author, and I was a bit apprehensive because I didn't know what to expect or if I would have a hard time reading this. Surprisingly I found it to be a easy to get into read, and was quite unique for a historical romance set in the regency era.
Julia has been betrothed to her fiancee since she was seven years old, she has known him forever. He is nice, and a good man, and she loves him like you would care for a friend. But its not deep intense love that takes your breath away. Then she dances with Thomas Merritt, and even though she doesn't know him, she feels like she could fall in love with him very easily, he brings a desire to her that she has never felt before. Then after sharing a very sensual night in each others arms, she doesn't see him again, and decides to be honest with her fiancee and her family. But they end up throwing her out to the wolves, with no family or home. She ends up being a companion to a young woman, who is deep in her grief, and needs someone to assist her on their trip to Vienna. When she comes to Vienna, she finds herself embroiled in a variety of circumstances. It is hard to know who to trust, with secrets laying beneath every corner, and despite the glittering ballrooms and the royal dignitaries, Julia knows she is in way over her head, especially when she comes face to face with Thomas Merritt. She finds herself being slowly seduced by him once again. She knows that she will have to make a difficult choice soon.
Thomas Merritt, has been abandoned by his family, through a misunderstanding. Now he and his valet, survive by being thieves of jewels. I found Thomas to definitely not the typical hero you find in this type of scenario. Despite his occupation, he does have some admirable qualities that only make him more appealing. Julia has been thrown into a hard set of circumstances herself, and does what she can to make the best of it. I loved how strong willed she was, and I felt like she was a good match for Thomas. We don't see a whole lot of interaction, just both sides of their different lives that eventually lead up to finding each other again.
There were some things that I enjoyed about this one and a couple of aspects that I didn't enjoy so much. I didn't like how through the majority of the book, we don't see much interaction between Thomas and Julia. They are apart for most of the story, which was a bummer for me. I mean it was still a fun and like able read, but I always like more interaction than less. And things start to really escalate once they get together again, and I just had such a exciting time with the secret plots and intrigue and passion that plays out in the end. And as a plus there is quite a bit of good history here, its apparent that the author did good research (which is always something I admire in historical fiction authors)I found it to be a unique play of events and it definitely caught my attention. A story you don't want to miss out on, and I definitely plan on reading more of this author.