Friday, July 13, 2012
Ravishing the Heiress
Millicent, Millie Graves, has known her entire life that she is destined for an arranged marriage and has trained for it and accepted her lot in life. As the only heir to a very wealthy tinned food company she is sold off to a much older Lord, whose desperation for funds has led him to contract the marriage. When he dies, his much younger cousin becomes Earl Fitzhugh and though Fitz is in love with his sweetheart, Isabelle, crushing debt and a crumbling estate necessitate a speedy influx of cash. It takes only one meeting for Millie to fall desperately in love with her future husband, but it does not take her long to realize his love is reserved for someone else so proposes that they postpone consummating the marriage for 8 years, during which they can lead their own lives. Fitz says goodbye to Isabella and embarks on his marriage with despair while Millie is equally depressed at the thought of spending the rest of her life in love with a man who loves another woman.
Eight years later Millie and Fitz have built a life for themselves together and have become fast friends, when Isabella strolls back into town, newly widowed and wanting to reconnect with Fitz. Millie has hidden her feelings all these years and has no intention now of embarrassing herself and being rejected but inside it crushes her that Fitz wants to start a new life with Isabella. He and Isabella try to pick up where they left off 8 years ago but there is no denying that things have changed for Millie and Fitz. They have common interests and goals after having worked together to build up their estate and bring the Graves tinned food industry to immense profitability. Not wanting to leave Millie alone he decides to spend six months more with Millie in the hopes of giving her in a child and Fitz begins to realize that there is so much more to their relationship than he had thought. Millie knows that now is the time to lay her heart on the line and hope that Fitz realizes that what he has with Millie is more important than a childhood infatuation.
Millie was an enjoyable and relatable character to read about because of her unrequited love for Fitz but she was a little too controlled and in charge of emotions and so good at hiding herself. She was a good person though and she was an amazing friend to Fritz, even when it broke her heart and I enjoyed when we finally did get to see some real emotion from her. Fritz was a deeply flawed person and his flaws made him so real to me. He obviously idealized his relationship with Isabelle and held onto his vision so tightly that he couldn't see what was right in front of him. While I admit this was frustrating because I did want him to see how amazing Millie was, I could definitely understand what he was feeling and thinking. Thomas did a great job telling the story from both of their perspectives which was very important in a book like this which was so emotional. Her stories tend to be very emotional and wrenching and this book was no exception and in this instance I really enjoyed it and felt it suited the story well.
This book switched back and forth between the present and important events in their past, such as their wedding, their honeymoon, and various specific times when something happened in their relationship that illustrated how close they were going. Each section was sustained enough that I did not feel like the book was jumping and I never got confused about what was happening and when. I also appreciated it because I was glad we got to see them growing together instead of just being told they were good friends/ in love. I really felt like they had a strong relationship and that I was truly there, experiencing with them, all the pleasure and pains of discovering love. There was a little bit of sex between them, it was squashed toward the end, and it was fairly uninspiring and fast. The book was very short and I thought the end came rather abruptly and, while not precisely sure what I believe should have happened, I felt like so much angst and love deserved more than a two page quick I love you happy ending.
Rating: A very emotional book with a premise that grabbed my attention and never let go. A great relationship between two well written characters with a strong relationship.