Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly
Series: Beyond Duet #1
Publication Date: July 1, 2001
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Emma Holly turns up the heat in this sinfully sensuous story of a family plagued by scandal—and a shy young woman who discovers a passion beyond her wildest dreams...
When her beloved father passes away, Florence Fairleigh finds herself alone in the world. All she wants is a man who will treat her kindly and support her financially—and she's come to London to find him.
Edward Burbrooke thinks marriage is the only way to save his brother, Freddie—and their family—from scandalous ruin. As head of the family, Edward has vowed to find Freddie a bride—and fast.
Thrown together by Edward, Florence and Freddie make a perfect pair—until Edward realizes he has feelings for his brother's betrothed. The sight of her nubile young body makes his blood burn with lust. The sound of her voice makes his heart warm with love. And the sweet taste of her kiss makes him wonder if he isn't making a terrible mistake.
My book club chose Beyond Innocence last year. I’m certain I’ve read Emma Holly before, but I can’t recall what titles or remember any details, so I’m going to say this is a new-to-me author. I haven’t been much for historicals lately, but this one really drew me in. I liked Florence from the start. She’s a practical sort, determined to find a husband so she can live a comfortable life. I liked that she recognized her circumstances and decided to do something about them. I did not love that she was such a perfect innocent. She was a total Disney princess..she even had an affinity for cats and babies. Like…they rushed her whenever she went outside (no joke).
I did not love that the family tried to dupe her into marrying Freddie. It was really frustrating and felt a little squicky (are we still using that word?).
Anyway, aside from that, I enjoyed the story. I really enjoyed Freddie, and his struggle to find his place in a world not accepting of who he was.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5