Title: Bound by your Touch
Author: Meredith Duran
Published: June 2009 by Pocket Books
Pages: 368 pgs, Mass Market Paperback
Reason for reading: Received from Pocket Books for review.
Lydia Boyce is the eldest daughter of Henry Boyce, an archeologist who has spent a large part of his life digging in Egypt in search of rare artifacts. Lydia lost the man she loved to her sister and by 26 years old, accepted her fate as spinster and head of the family. One of her responsibilities was securing funds for her father's expedition(s). She was attempting to do this during a meeting with some very important and wealthy gentlemen when she was rudely interrupted by James Durham, Viscount Sanburne. James, by all accounts, had only one purpose in life and that was to make his father miserable. It seems he was the Victorian frat-boy spending most of his nights drunk gallivanting around town and his days hungover.
Needless to say that upon first meeting, the only sparks that flew between Lydia and James were sparks of irritation. She was angry that he would dare interrupt her meeting and he was angry that she would making him look foolish by proving him wrong in front of everyone attending the meeting, including his father. What neither one of them knew at that moment, was that their encounter was the catalyst for the end of a career and the beginning of a love affair.
I loved Lydia's character. She was a proper Victorian miss while being intelligent and educated which is something that I respect in female characters. She was innocent when it came to love and intimacy, but still had a hint of daring and a sarcastic streak that intrigued James and made her fun to read. James took a little longer to warm up to because it seemed he was nothing more than a rake. However, it's not until you learn more of James' family history that you begin to understand the reasons for his behavior. As a reader, you begin to understand James right along with Lydia. His need to drink was his way of dealing with a guilt that he couldn't shed. (No spoilers here!)
James and Lydia both came from troubled families. What they had no way of knowing is how during the course of their relationship, their own relationships with their families would change drastically and they would learn that they must only trust each other.
This was the first of Meredith Duran's novel and I became an instant fan of her work. I found her writing to be very intelligent and witty! The plot was captivating, heart-breaking but hopeful all at the same time. It takes true talent to pull that off :) Everything about the story simply made sense from character reactions to the pacing. Not to mention that the banter between the hero & heroine was amusing. A book that can make me smile gets a thumbs up from me!
Here's a quote from one of my favorite scenes:
(James, Sanburne) "She pursed her lips. The movement exposed a hint of dimple. In conjunction with her starchy manner, it seemed wholly incongruous. A mere anatomical fluke, he told himself, just a trick of her tightened lips. Nevertheless, he found himself staring at it, wondering what he might do to make it deepen. Breathy gasps, flashing dimples: the idea came that Miss Boyce's body liked to sabotage her."
a moment later into their conversation...
"Her mouth tightened further. Christ, but that dimple conspired against her. It drew attention to her mouth, which was overly wide and completely unfashionable, and suggested prospects that were not appropriate to the moment. Or, for that matter, precisely legal."
Definitely worth ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥