She gave him her innocence…
Lady Aline Marsden was brought up for one reason: to make an advantageous marriage to a member of her own class. Instead, she willingly gave her innocence to John McKenna, a servant on her father's estate. Their passionate transgression was unforgivable—John was sent away, and Aline was left to live in the countryside…an exile from London society.
…and he took her love.
Now McKenna has made his fortune, and he has returned—more boldly handsome and more mesmerizing than before. His ruthless plan is to take revenge on the woman who shattered his dreams of love. But the magic between them burns as bright as ever. And now he must decide whether to let vengeance take its toll…or risk everything for his first, and only, love.
"It's now or never, Aline. After I leave tomorrow, I'm not coming back."
I really loved this story. I'm a sucker for childhood friends to lovers romances, and second chances, and overcoming obstacles, and all that happy horseshit, and this gave me what I wanted in joyfully obscene amounts. Obscene amounts of happy, not horseshit...
The feels were real in this one, and I loved every second I was immersed in Aline & McKenna's journey.
McKenna was smoking hot, and perfectly broody, moody and mean. I need me one of those for Christmas.
Aline had a wonderful level of understanding and maturity, and I really liked how the story wasn't based on misunderstandings. Every issue that stood between these two characters was of their own making, and for reasons. For me, that makes for a much easier? read, and doesn't frustrate the shit out of me.
The smut factor in this one was strong, but also intimate and emotional and overall awesome.
"Open for me," he whispered, and she colored violently. "Open," he urged, the velvety kisses venturing higher.
"The feel of you..." he muttered.
I loved, loved, loved Livia's side story - I thought it was genius for Ms Kleypas to include that. I adored it, and was so happy for her. It was one of those things where I was like I wish this was a book of it's own but at the same time, it was a perfect peripheral story to tie in with this one. Ugh. Just. Yum.
I wished Aline had been honest when they had their chat by the river. McKenna shared everything with her, openly, and she really screwed the pooch on that one, I thought.
This story had everything I loved, and classic, impeccable Lisa Kleypas writing on top of that. How could it not be a 5 star read?