Series: Hearts of Honour
Number in Series: 1
Format: ARC PDF (Netgalley)
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Historical Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads
A hidden beauty. A wounded beast. Can the curse threatening their happiness be broken?
There is absolutely nothing improper about Hannah Foster, the vicar of Hartley’s eldest daughter, nursing the badly wounded Viscount Blackthorn back to health—that’s if the returned officer can be saved. At twenty seven she is two years the man’s senior, a confirmed spinster, and far too sensible to develop feelings for her patient. The fact he was once her childhood friend and has grown into a fine specimen of a man—his terrible scars notwithstanding—has no bearing on the matter.
Even if the unthinkable were to happen and William was to see past her plain exterior and recognise the caring, intelligent, passionate woman beneath, he is determined to break the curse that has plagued his family for generations by letting his bloodline die out. Her best friend, Grace’s, warnings are moot. A man of Lord Blackthorn’s wealth and position would never be interested in a woman like Hannah . . . would he?
* Passion and Propriety is a stand alone story, the first in the Hearts of Honour series. *
Passion and Propriety is a story that follows a man named William. William has a death wish. He has come home from the war and has little interest on continuing life. He is covered wit scars and injuries that won't heal and wants to be left alone. But all of that changes when his childhood friend, Hannah, finds him on the brink of death. Instead of listening to the rumors of William's cursed family, she gets close enough to save him. They both realize they have feelings for each other, but society and superstitions have other plans.
I am really in love with de Sallier. When I saw her name attached to this book on Netgalley, I jumped on it as quickly as possible. Her writing is just so engrossing. I find myself easily lost in her books. You immediately get attached to the characters and their world. I don't read a lot of historical romances, so I am extra happy I landed on de Sallier and her work.
I loved Hannah. Hannah is a self-proclaimed spinster. Spinsters are unmarried women who intend on staying unmarried. Men don't take an interest, so she doesn't bother. She is a woman not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. These are character traits that, of course, may not make a suitable wife. William however, finds her captivating even though he shouldn't. He is of a higher class than her and would be expected to find someone of equal class to be with. But he also is not that interested in marriage given his family curse. Any woman he ends up with will be met with a terrible fate. I really loved William. He does come off quite the jerk in the beginning. But as the story goes on, you can't blame him for being bitter.
The best thing about this book was the connection between Hannah and William. The way it was paced and how they came together was simply perfect for me. Nothing was rushed and unrealistic. The reasons for their doubts were appropriate for the time period. I loved it. Another aspect I found interesting was the descriptions of the characters. They are immediately referred to as "gorgeous" and "perfect". William has scars (both internal and external) as well as a limp. Hannah is not considered traditionally beautifully, but still attractive. I just thought that was an interesting change not having characters that are basically supermodels. Hell, they were both virgins before being together. Yeah, you read that right. I have to say, it is nice when the hero of the story isn't a manwhore. Maybe it is just me, but it gives the story something extra. It makes it more intriguing. Again, maybe just me.
This isn't a story with a villain or anything like that. Instead, de Sallier uses circumstances as the real "antagonist" of the story. William's family is cursed. His family were very greedy and vicious. That viciousness is in the blood now. The women die at childbirth and William's bloodline is now non-existent. You also have their social classes. William is an officer and an aristocrat. Hannah is the vicar's daughter. They shouldn't be anywhere near each other. It is bad enough that Hannah has been taken care of William's every need without someone around (specifically a man). People are bound to talk.
I really loved this story. de Sallier definitely has a voice and i must be heard. It is refreshing and intriguing. The characters are impossible not to love. They are the kind of characters that you will cling to. Their insecurities and personalities make them unforgettable. This story is unforgettable. Despite the time period, I think we can all find something to relate to in this book. I recommend this even if historical romance isn't your thing. Add de Sallier on your authors to watch list. You will be glad you did.
*This book belongs to the following challenges*
The Book Vixen's 2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
The Book Vixen's 2014 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge
About Elise de Sallier