Reviewed by May
Before I begin my review, I want to take a moment to mention the series that inspired this novella. From the author’s website, describing Flawless, the first book in the Christie Family series:
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for half-siblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire…and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
The death of Sir William Christie (the hero in this novella) is the catalyst for Carrie Lofty’s Christie Family series. Given one struggling part of the family empire to run and make into a success, each sibling will have their own challenges and adventure (not to mention novel and romance!).
What could be better? Lofty has released a novella about their father William Christie in his prime, and it is truly a delight.
He crisscrossed his arms behind her back and her bum, then lifted her straight up from the chair. She gasped against his cheek. Any momentary shock dissipated as she sank more deeply into his embrace.
She bit his lower lip, her smile returning in force. “So strong,” she whispered against his wet mouth.
William’s vision wavered at the edges. He was trying to intimidate her, not impress her, yet her breathy compliment sent a thrilling jolt to his cock. Yes, he was strong. He had forged himself into a man no one would challenge. Yet this tiny, curious woman shoved at his control with more determination every time.
He wanted to shove right back.
William Christie is a smexy beast of a man, and in 82 pages Carrie Lofty managed to make me fall totally in love with both him and his lady love – Miss Catrin Jones. She also works in mentions of the other ladies in William’s past, which definitely will tie into the series and gives us a richer look at where his mind was at, and what was happening in his life around the time his children were born.
Our story begins as William is making plans to expand his businesses – and part of his plan depends on getting the mysterious Catrin to spill what really happened on the ship she was on that crashed and left her the only survivor. William is a man who raised himself up from poverty to be a wealthy and powerful man. Catrin left her quiet home to become a nurse abroad, saving the lives of soldiers and seeing more of the world than most women ever do. Both characters have their secrets and shames, but both are determined to make the most of this life and they are fiercely, unapologetically attracted to one another.
Those lips. God, he could kiss them for the rest of time. She felt that good, that right.
“You silly, stupid girl,” he rasped against her throat. Her hands slipped up his forearms, his biceps, to the sharp tension between his shoulders and his neck. A brief squeeze. He nearly groaned. Then her clever fingers untied his cravat and slid down his nape, as if searching for even ore of him – more forbidden places. “You have no idea what it is to be married to me.”
“Surely it involves more of this.”
This novella stands alone as a fantastic short read, a tale of love and of two people who are not good society, but whom the ton cannot ignore. They are an outstanding match – and this was a story I cannot fault. While we did not really see them falling in love, we got plenty of lust and time, and his courtship of her did pass (though off page) and I did not mind or feel it was lacking in romance.
This author has such a way with words, she weaves together such sexy, beautiful, gripping historical romance that I was completely enchanted from the first page. Here is just one more quote – because oh William, I adore you:
He knelt and picked up her gloves from where they had fallen, then remained kneeling. The pose was reminiscent of a man readying to propose marriage. Catrin bit her lower lip to keep from giving more thought to the coincidence. Then she focused on what the pose did to his thighs. They bulged powerfully against taut wool trousers, which had hung loosely when he stood. What manner of tailor clothed such a man with so little regard for his assets?
“Catrin. Focus, lass.”
Lass. She nearly closed her eyes against the unfairness. Accent, voice, adorable choice of word. Nearly an endearment. All from a beast of an industrialist who could waltz and spar.
I must admit the only problem I had with this book is that William Christie won’t be seen in the series, unless it is in a character’s memory of a time past. I fell so in love with him, and was reminded how much I adore Lofty’s writing – it is amazing.
I strongly recommend this novella whether you’re planning on reading the series it is related to or not. At just $.99, it is a deal not to be missed. For more about the series you can see my review of the first book Flawless here, and I will be reviewing the second book in the series here at Smexy in a few weeks.