Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I saw this book over at Lovin' Me Some Romance, and I was intrigued. I wasn't really sure, I couldn't see how a book about an opium addict would be that good, but Oh My God - I am so glad I picked up this book!! Definitely a keeper!
This book is set in 1850, and Lindsay Markham is in love with his childhood friend, Anais Darnby. He's loved her for years and has not told her. Since he went off to college he's turned to opium to dull the feelings because he doesn't know how she feels about him. Now they're adults, and he doesn't know it but she feels the same way about him.
He takes a chance one evening and they have a passion filled encounter in the stable, and he promises his undying love and asks her to meet him at a costume ball the next week. Anais agrees, but is betrayed by a friend and finds Lindsay, high as a kite, in a compromising situation with her friend. She doesn't care that he thought the friend was Anais. Anais runs off and says she never wants to see him again.
The story picks up several months later, Lindsay is back from the exotic East, having spent the first few months looking for Anais, who ran off to France, and the last few months in an opium-induced haze. He's back in England, and wants to see Anais. As he returns, there is a fire and her house burns to the ground, necessitating her family briefly staying at Lindsay's family estate. Lindsay finds out Anais has been ill and has turned to another childhood friend, Garrett, for comfort. Lindsay is jealous, and tries to win Anais back, but she tells him it can never be. There are some very steamy scenes, both real and imagined, and Anais has a secret she's keeping from Lindsay, just as he's keeping the degree to which he's dependent on the opium from her.
There is no way I can do a review that would do justice to this book. Everytime I thought I had the plot figured out, surprise - it's not what I thought; this happened several times. I liked both Lindsay and Anais, and wanted them to be together; however, some secrets may be too damaging for forgiveness. I liked how they kept breaking apart and coming back to each other, mirroring his addiction and denial of same. And Ms. Featherstone's description of his addiction was so sensual, she really turned the story into a love triangle instead of just a story about a couple.
Excellent read. I can't wait for her next book, Sinful, out in May 2010.