Hero: Lieutenant Colin Barry
Heroine: Lady Grace Ryburn
Lady Grace Ryburn has accepted another man’s proposal after the love of her life, Lieutenant Colin Barry, asked for her own sister’s hand in marriage.
But when Colin returns home from the wars, injured in body and spirit, will she be able to turn her back and marry another? Or will she throw away every rule her mother taught her and try to seduce a man who has shown no interest in her kisses?
Author’s Note: Be sure to read Part One first! You need to know the story of how Grace fell in love with Colin . . .
To read our review of the first part of this story, click here.
Holly: In part one, Grace spent years writing to Colin, building castles in the sky about a relationship that didn’t really exist. She made herself believe she was the only thing keeping him sane at sea, when he couldn’t even be bothered to visit her when he returned to shore.
At the end of part one, she is heartbroken, but determined to move on with her life. She accepts the suit of Lord McIngle and that’s that.
Part two opens with her trying to convince herself she’s happy to be engaged to him. Especially since his home was in Scotland which meant she could nurse her broken heart away from anyone associated with Colin.
Her parents are thrilled for her, thinking Lord McIngle is the perfect man for her to be with. He understands her and indulges her passion for painting. He’s kind, caring and willing to put her needs above his own.
Only Lily, her younger sister, doesn’t believe he’s good enough.
She was the only one who argued with Grace. “He’s not a good choice for you,” she insisted. “He respects you too much.”
“Respect is good,” Grace said, thinking of how Colin slighted her letters. “I want respect.”
“It’s not enough.”
“He loves me!”
“Not the right way.”
Finally Grace turned on her sister in a rage. “Don’t you see, Lily? Must you make me say this aloud? No one will ever love me in the right way, not in that feverish way that men fall in love with you. I’m not that sort of woman!”
Still my heart breaks for Grace. Though her feelings may seem a bit dramatic, the truth is, she isn’t wrong. She isn’t the sort to inspire feelings of passionate love in a man. Lily does, quite often. But Grace is overlooked for her sister.
Rowena: I agree. I felt bad for Grace because like you said, she isn’t wrong. She’s overlooked quite a bit because of Lily. So when Grace settles for Lord McIngle because he never looked at Lily, I hurt for her because that’s a really sucky reason to have for the man you’re going to marry. And yet, that was a reality for Grace. It’s a hard situation to be in and even without Colin in the picture, being overshadowed by Lily was the norm for Grace. It’s all she’s ever known and that can really get a girl down, historical lady or contemporary woman, the feelings are still there and they still hurt.
Holly: As much as I hurt for Grace, I also hurt for Colin. He realized his love for her, yet can do nothing about it. He knows from Lily’s letter that she’s engaged to McIngle and he figures she’s already married to him. Added to that, he’s been injured. Which means he has a lot of time to lie around and pine for Grace.
I was glad to see he finally realized his feelings for her. He knows the real Grace and loves all of her. That’s what she deserves. Of course it’s a bit too late for him to realize it, but it’s hard to be mad at him for that when he was struggling with his own feelings about the war for so long.
Rowena: Colin’s reasons for not wanting to see Grace when he came home (in the first part) were understandable and I agree that it was hard to be mad at him. In this part of the story, I really started to warm up to Colin. I was glad that he started to realize that he had feelings for Grace and that he missed her letters. I loved that he wrote that letter to Lily just so that he can ask her how Grace was doing. It really did suck for him to not be able to do anything about his feelings for Grace, being stuck on the boat the way that he was.
Watching the two of them come together in this book was adorable. I loved seeing them both go after what they want. I thought it was lovely to see the relationship between Grace and her mother again in this part. The amount of love that Grace’s mother had to have to let Grace go through with what she planned on doing had to have been great and I really liked seeing the closeness of a historical family. Usually, mothers aren’t close with their kids in historical but that wasn’t the case in this story. Both of Grace’s parents loved their children and weren’t ashamed to show it. I really enjoyed that part of this one.
And how about that first time in the carriage? Wowzer. What a way to remember her first time.
Holly: I, too, liked seeing them both go after what they want. It was funny that they both wanted the same thing, but were coming at it from two different places. I felt bad for Colin when Grace assumed he thought she was Lily. Poor guy just couldn’t catch a break.
That carriage scene…wowza. I felt bad for both of them afterward. Especially Grace. Poor girl had a rough time of it there at the end.
Grace sank into a chair, and then started straight back onto her feet. It hurt. Her most tender part felt . . . well . . . hurt. How did women put up with this sort of thing?
She went straight back to her first reaction to the act. She had been enjoying it until a certain point. She frowned, realizing what must be the truth. That first part was for her. And the second part was for him. Presumably the second part wouldn’t hurt as much next time, though obviously it would never be as much fun as the preliminaries. She could probably live with that.
I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed the misunderstandings in this part as much as I did. I’m not sure why, but they really had me invested in the story. The drama of it appealed to me. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see how everything would be resolved.
Rowena: He really couldn’t catch a break, considering how embarrassed he had to have been when he found out that the carriage ride was not a dream…but total reality.
In this part, we see Colin’s struggles with losing Grace and my heart really went out to him. His self-doubt with being injured and not thinking he deserved Grace, thinking that she deserved far better than the likes of him. It was all so dramatic but I loved it. So very much. I loved the dreams that he had of Grace, the jealousy with her being with McIngle. Oh man, I’m a sucker for this stuff.
I think my favorite part of this one is when Grace finally tells Colin everything. That she loves him, that she’s always loved him and how she can deal with him not loving her in return and all that other good stuff because no matter how hard Colin tries to get a word in edge wise, he can’t.
Everything is out in the open now. Colin knows for sure that Grace loves him but now she’s run away from him and he’s got to get to work on proving his love for her now. *grins*
This was more greatness from the first story and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it more because I had the third part ready to go…=)
Holly: I agree. I love that Grace laid it all out for him, then ran. It’s good that he has to work for it a bit. I was super anxious to start Part 3.
Overall grade: 4 out of 5
The Reading Order:
This book is available from Avon Impulse. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.