Celia Vallerand fears for her life as she stares into the deep, arresting eyes of the dashing man who purchased her from the brigands who had abducted her. But it soon becomes clear that it's her virtue, not her life, that's in danger. The rugged, powerful renegade known only as "Griffin" arouses desires in Celia as dangerous as they are forbidden. And though she knows she must resist him, she fears she may be unable to do so.I am gradually getting to the end of the backlist for Lisa Kleypas **sob**. Luckily I just picked up Blue Eyed Devil from the library, and I still haven't read Mine Til Midnight, otherwise I will get to the end and then what will I do!
But the magnificent adventurer is a man trapped in a perilous deception. And the shocking secrets he guards could deny him the love of the fair captive lady who has enslaved his reckless heart.
This is one of the few historicals that Lisa Kleypas has written that isn't set in England. This time the setting is the deep south of America - Louisiana I believe - which brings me to my first question. What the heck do the swans on the cover have to do with this book? There's lots of mentions of swamps and bayou but no swans!
Anyway, Celia always believed that she was an unexceptional woman compared to all of her family. When she begins to be courted by a young doctor, Philip Vallerand, she is honoured and flattered and more than happy to wait for years for him to come and get her and take her to her new life as his wife. It is while they are on that journey to a new life that the boat that they are on is attacked by pirates and Philip is killed. Celia appears to be destined for a much shortened life where she will be a sexual plaything for a depraved member of the pirate crew, until she is rescued by Griffin and he delivers her to her husband's family who are a powerful Creole family. Unfortunately he delivers her only after taking her virginity. (I know...she was married, how could she still be a virgin? There's an explanation, which is barely plausible, but we'll let that slide!)
The next time that Celia meets Griffin, it is under much different circumstances, and when she is forced by fate to spend more time with him her feelings for him change from passion driven animosity to realisation that the feelings that she has for him are much, much stronger than those feelings that she had for her husband. At the same time, it begins to appear as though Celia really didn't know her husband all that well, leaving her with conflicted emotions all round.
I can't really say too much more without giving away major plot twists, but suffice to say the past comes back to haunt the Griffin, in the form of his pirate enemies, and he is forced to make a choice between his past and Celia, particularly after Celia does something a bit stupid and is captured by those same pirates.
I loved reading about Max Vallerand (Philip's father), and if I understand correctly, he is the hero of the Only in Your Arms, which I will have to track down at some point.
You can tell that this is early Kleypas, but the quality is still there in terms of the writing, and the spark between the main characters.