WARNING, there are a few spoilerish comments below!
Ttitle: Bound By Your Touch
Author: Meredith Duran
Silver-tongued Viscount Sanburne is London's favorite scapegrace. Alas, Lydia Boyce has no interest in being charmed. When his latest escapade exposes a plot to ruin her family, she vows to handle it herself, as she always has done. Certainly she requires no help from a too-handsome dilettante whose main achievement is being scandalous. But Sanburne's golden charisma masks a sharper mind and darker history than she realizes. He shocks Lydia by breaking past her prim facade to the woman beneath...and the hidden fire no man has ever recognized. But as she follows him into a world of intrigue, she will learn that the greatest danger lies within -- in the shadowy, secret motives of his heart.
What I loved: Lydia. She was strong and independent, the eldest daughter in the family and known spinster. She was not a shrinking violet. She was not terribly naive. Inexperienced, yes, but she understood much of the world. This was a strong, intelligent heroine. And yet she was still taken advantage of. I liked this. It was realistic. It showed how a person could be blind to circumstances of the actions of others because of their personal feelings. Lydia was not TSTL. She wasn't idealistic. She came across as being rather realistic. I also loved James. How could I not love this hero? He was flawed, nearly fatally so. I spent a good portion of the book not liking him. He was selfish, rude, inconsiderate... but then his motivations and internal struggles began to be revealed. When he walked away from her, the decision was not made with the declaration that he was doing it for her own good. No, it was very clear he was walking away for himself. Self-preservation. And I was in complete sympathy with him.
I found the story line with James sister, Stella, to be interesting. I found Stella's decision to be rather profound and forward thinking. I like that James was not suddenly OK with it. He still struggled, but found a bit of peace. This, too, was realistic. No one waved a magic wand and made everyone happy and whole.
Thing I hated: Lydia's sister Sophie. Oh, that was the point, wasn't it? Yeah, that's all I've got for this category. No hating going on here!
Recommend? Absolutely, yes! This was Ms Duran's second book. Duke of Shadows was one of the best historicals I have ever read. Dark, intense, full of pain and angst. Bound By Your Touch is less so, yet by no means a light and fluffy read. Does it join the ranks of the best? Not sure yet, but it is certainly a keeper!