Review: The Untouchable Earl by Amy Sandas
Series:Fallen Ladies, #2
Released: November 1, 2016
Reviewed by Sheena
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing the respectable debutante. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who fills her with breathless terror and impossible yearning.
Though the Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret―one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arm’s length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to heal his troubled heart.
Favorite Quote: He always felt too much with her. And despite that, he had never been able to shake his yearning for more.
Avenell Slade has some serious….intimacy issues. The poor man can not stand to be physically touched. Even so much so that the feel of the fabric of his clothing can cause him discomfort, let alone the hand of woman. Practically a recluse, he resolves himself to seek out professional help. And what better place to seek such specialized attentions than Madam Pendragon’s Pleasure House. A brothel, the place where a man can touch and be touched and explore any number of sexual deviations. Avenell is desperate to gain some….training to finally discover once and for all if he can ever derive some measure of pleasure from his affliction- his goal to finally discover touch that does not cause him pain. Twenty-four and rather late to join society, Avenell has little time left to unlock and overcome his painful secret before it is too late.
Lily Chadwick is far down on her luck. So much so that she has been kidnapped and put on the auction block to settle debt. Avenelle saves her from a disastrous fate, drawn to her and the blossoming hope that she could be the one to change his life and ease him of his painful touchless existence. Lily and Avenell embark on a sweet romance, dance of seduction and mutual attraction that I enjoyed to the absolute fullest.
“Here,” she whispered again.
He curved his spine and lowered his head to press a hot kiss just below her navel. Her legs shook beneath her, and she closed her eyes.
“Where else?” he asked in a low murmur. Lily slowly turned in place, feeling his hands drop away from her body. When she faced away from him, she reached around to press her fingers to the small of her back.
The touch of his mouth there was more intense than she expected- the wet and warmth and intimate pressure…but it was over too quickly.
She turned around again and looked into his eyes, her heart beating so fast she wondered how she could sustain such a pace without fainting.
The best part of this novel are the sweet intimate moments between Avenell and Lily. Inexperienced as she was, unknowingly taking the reigns of teacher and help mate to the Earl who yearned to be different. Avenell spent so many years locked away because of his secret, revealing his true nature was just as daunting and intimidating for him as learning to accept his lovers embrace. It also made him reluctant to share his issues and Lily spent most of the novel ignorant to his affliction. Sure she figured it out and was further endeared to him, however, I can’t hep but think there was a missed opportunity to really build on their bond had she known sooner that his ailment and not his temperament caused him to live without human contact, since childhood. Lily’s revelation when it comes to the Earl’s issues were almost an afterthought toward the end. It didn’t wholly detract from their romance- but it did strike me as a miss.
Building an emotional and physical tolerance, as you can imagine, takes times and the time Lily and Avenell sped touching and teasing, the foreplay of it all makes up a huge chunk of the novel. A definite slow burn, with hot peaks that stoked flames, but burned down t embers before really catching fire. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, the author one trust and enjoyed previous works, here, however, I put it down several times. I attribute my ability to walk away frequently to the teasing nature that threaded throughout the novel. After about six sexy near misses, I’m a little desensitized and can wait for the pay off after all. In this way I think the author overshot the balance between anxious build up, that makes a reader unable to look away- and overwrought delayed gratification- where the reader assumes payoff is to come and is satisfied getting there whenever they should arrive. The good news is that the writing is lovely and though it meanders with its romance, I didn’t mind taking the scenic route.
I recommend this novel because it is a good read. Interesting and unique in a genre where much of it has been there done that. The small gripes I have with execution of the HEA pales in comparison to just how good of a read The Untouchable Earl really is. I do not doubt you’ll enjoy it.