I’d love to greet you all and thank you for checking out this feature, but there is no time for that. No time! None! All of the minutes, seconds, nanoseconds I’m hording for the express purpose of sharing how FREAKING cute, bad ass, funny, sexy and enjoyable this book is! OHMYGOSHITSSODAMNFUN! First of all. Blurb.
After two disastrous marriages, beauty columnist Amalia Truitt’s life is finally her own—well, it will be if she can get herself back to Delaware and demand access to her share of the Truitt family fortune. After all, the charity she’s organized for women who can’t afford their own divorces won’t fund itself. However, not everyone wants her to reach her destination. When her family learns she’s been receiving anonymous death threats, a solo journey is out of the question.
Enter David Zisskind, the ragtag-peddler-turned-soldier whose heart Amalia broke years ago. He’s a Pinkerton now, and the promotion he craves depends on protecting his long-lost love on the unexpectedly treacherous journey across Pennsylvania.
In very close quarters, with danger lurking around every curve, with each kiss and illicit touch, the wrongs of the past are righted. But David can’t weather another rejection, especially with his career in jeopardy. And Amalia can’t possibly take a lover, never mind another husband…not with so much depending on her repaired reputation. Not when she’s hurt David—her David—so badly before.
Ok, so I nearly broke my fingers clicking to read this book so fast. I’m talking rapid precision 1-clicking the likes usually reserved for midnight drops of most eagerly anticipated novels. However, Dalliances & Devotion came out of nowhere (Angela is a romance rec goddess and I live for her weekly release posts- which is where I found this GEM) but the blurb alone had me in an excited tizzy. First of all, hello historical romance- I’ve always loved you. Then, the heroine is a woman who has lived. Don’t get me wrong. I love (loove) innocent ingénue -meets rakish Duke trope- but it is always fun to get to know other types of 19th century women who undoubtedly lived and loved as more mature, wily women no different than the fresh-out-of-their-first-season young women typically featured. Secondly, nice to meet you again second chance romance! Thanks for stopping by, emotional trauma and denial! Feliz Navidad suppressed desire and stolen moments of passion! In one blurb, Grossman gave me every indication that this book was for ME.
And then I read the first page and melted! You mean I fall in love with Amalia in ten seconds flat. Ugh. Amaze.
There is no crime more heinous in romance reading than spoiling a delicious plot. I can’t even explain all the ways this novel pulls you in. I was transported to 1871, I just love when I melt into a new world. David was a hero in every sense of the word. Not perfect but the author didn’t go out of her way to make him seem too perfect. He didn’t slide into becoming a prop in his own story. Amalia and David’s romance burned so bright and realistic in ways that was so heart warming. I wish I could just share passages and passages of Dalliances & Devotion but what I can do is sprinkle a little heat into your Thursday and share two of my favorite scenes!
The heart wants what the heart wants…
“You know Ethan reminded me of him?” She twisted her arm around his, her silk intertwined with his cotton.
David gulped. Ethan? Her first husband reminded her of her own brother? She closed her eyes, her head so near his that the tips of her lashes fluttered against his cheek.
“Not really. Not in personality. But they both had light hair and he was eighteen, like me, the age Simon had been when he left. Ethan was so happy and his family was like ours.”
“And you wanted to marry him?” The breath in David’s chest was like an ever expanding stone against his ribs.
“No. He was available.” Amalia drew back from him, leaving his skin empty without the connection to hers. “I wanted to be married. Badly.” Her shoulders sagged. “I missed Simon so much and, well, everything. Knowing what I was supposed to do and supposed to be and how life would go—I wanted that back. I wanted the life I’d been promised. The world in which I was supposed to live, where I understood the rules.”
He toed at the moss, each word a punch or stab or searing bullet hole in every single one of his vital organs. Because he was the exact opposite of what a younger Amalia would’ve envisioned. A breeze rippled through the canopy, ruffling enough feathers that chirps became caws and squawks above them. He shivered, but Amalia didn’t move.
…What should he do? What was appropriate? His heart lurched. It didn’t matter. What mattered was her.
He gave her a quick kiss on the nose and even the light touch made her core ignite. Her hand shook, but she managed to lower his, down her stomach, his fingers grazing, not in a passive manner. She moaned again, as she guided him lower.
David bent down and took her ear lobe between his teeth, making her cry out before he whispered in her ear.
“All the way down?”
Amalia closed her eyes, all the yearning in her body straining for release. “Yes. Please.”
She gasped as he slid off the bed, on his knees, and parted her legs. She near swooned, but David gripped her hips and pulled her forward so he could lean forward and—god. Because that was the only word to say. His tongue connected with her inner thigh and she nearly came apart right there. And the damned tease kept at it. Close, closer, but not quite at her center. With the pad of his thumb, with his tongue, with his teeth, all the while her hips rubbed against the mattress of their own accord… He traced a finger down her arm.
…“This is good, right, because it makes me…” He grunted a little as he tightened his hold on her to keep her from falling as her knees buckled.
“Oh yes.” Amalia ground her body against him and he rewarded her by circling the small nub just above his fingers with his thumb. Her eyes rolled back for a moment as she struggled to stay in control…
For an entertaining, smoldering and genuinely romantic good time, check out Dalliances and Devotion by Felicia Grossman, out now!