I am alone…
When Ivy Leavold is left destitute by her brother’s death, she is taken in by her cousin’s brooding, tortured widower—Julian Markham. Handsome and possessive, it’s not long before Ivy falls for him. But Mr. Markham has dark secrets, secrets that may put Ivy in danger…
I am afraid…
As Ivy unravels the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death, she falls deeper and deeper in love with Julian, who opens her body and her mind to his indomitable will. But even as he draws pleasure and desire from her night after night, Ivy can’t shake the feeling that their passionate affair may end in violence…
And I’m completely his.
I have to start by saying I love historical romances. My love of romance books was sealed when I was a pre-teen and would sneak my mom’s Harlequin historicals. I thought I knew all about the historical genre, but I was blown away by this novella. Honey, this ain’t your momma’s historical romance. Sure there may be petticoats, cloaks, bonnets, and breeches along with harsh societal codes about a woman’s wanton behavior and social standing if she lacks a husband at a certain age (oh wait, are we talking about 1879 or 2015? I digress), but this? This is something completely different.
In this story our heroine isn’t a delicate flower waiting for the handsome rich man to find her. Oh no. She is independent despite her situation. She is forward. And she may be blushing, but that does not stop her curiosity or her desire. Ivy Leavold is a 19-year-old young woman, practically a spinster with no marriage opportunities and is left destitute with one last hope. That hope lies in her deceased cousin’s husband, the mysterious widower Julian Markham. Before I go any further, please know that Julian was inspired by Michael Fassbender in Jane Eyre. I probably don’t need to say anything else about Julian other than -Michael Fassbender- but I will.
Julian is deliciously sexy and dangerous. It seems like he’s trying to be honorable, but I don’t want him to be. I want him to throw her down and ravish her all over that gloomy estate. There is something underneath the surface about Julian. It’s there, brewing behind his honorable façade. We need to know his secrets.
The chemistry between Ivy and Julian is spectacular from that very first scene. What follows is a lovely little game of back-and-forth and will-they-or-won’t-they and please god, make them DO it. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed to god for fictional characters to get it on. I wanted it to happen so badly, almost as much as our wildcat, Ivy. There was something so carnal about this book, and I’m not even talking about the orgy. The foreplay and intimate scenes between Ivy and Julian were highly erotic and truly left-hand inspiring. The dirty talk is on fire.
Aside from all the left-hand fun, there’s a bonus in that there’s a bit of a mystery when trying to determine how Ivy’s late cousin died. Was there foul play? Is Julian responsible? Was it someone else? Does that horrible Mrs. Brightmore remind you of that goddamn O’Brien from Downton Abbey?
Along with all the hot sex and delicious characters, this author gives us a very fresh take on a historical theme. Ms. Simone is a talented writer. She gets right down to the details I want, and it’s fresh and clean while the story is dirty and hot. You should definitely one-click this one. You’ll love it, and you’ll be very inspired. Trust.
So often books don’t live up to the hype. It’s not unusual that I don’t follow the crowd on opinions with novels. This book? Not the case. “It’s great,” they said. “Scorching hot,” they said. “So well written,” I was told.
Holy. Fucking. Shit. Guise. Ok. Let’s get down to it… Yes, this is a historical romance. But! Don’t let that frighten you. Historical not your thing? Throw your expectations out the window. This doesn’t read like any other historical romance I’ve had the pleasure of reading. The bits that remind you this is set in the 1800’s aren’t fillers. They aren’t there just to make you sure you know it’s historical, often confusing readers. They add to the plot, to the characters. The historic details make it better. Just trust me.
The Awakening of Ivy Leavold reminds me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier meets The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by Anne Rice. The poised writing, the mystery, the sensuality, the domineering attitude of Julian, the strong-willed mind of Ivy… it’s perfection.
There’s tension, there’s passion.. you’re trying to figure out the secrets behind the mystery all the while squirming. Sierra Simone has mastered the art of making your heart beat faster while you read. Her brilliant characters not only make the hero and heroine unforgettable, but even the supporting ones. I cannot say enough good things about this book. Let Sierra take you on a trip back to 1879. You’ll want to make your own visit to Markham Hall. Read this.