A Lady Awakened is Cecelia Grant’s debut. Martha Russell, main character, is newly widowed. If she does not have a son, Martha will lose her estate to her brother in law who is the type to have his way with the help. Lucky for Martha, there is new blood in her country village, Theo Mirkwood. Martha offers Theo a business proposal – one month of doing it in exchange for money. You see, if she is impregnated within the month, she can pass the baby off as her husband’s and keep the estate.
A Lady Awakened plays on the love-hate relationship trope. At the beginning Theo and Martha are worlds apart in temperament. Martha is severe and serious and studious. She is passionate about bringing education to her tenant’s children. Theo is a dandy who arrogantly believes he is God’s gift to women. Each has something to learn from the other.
A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant started off slowly. I felt I had to trudge through it. It was hard to connect with Martha because she is so distant and doesn’t seem to be romantic at all. Like when her and Theo are doing it, she just lays there like a dead fish. I found myself rooting for Theo instead. However, I loved the ending and think that A Lady Awakened was worth reading simply for the ending. I mean, it’s obviously a happy ending, because this IS a romance. But, I was anxiety-ridden before the final payoff.
There are explicit sex scenes which I don’t mind, but if you prefer a clean, fade to black romance novel, then perhaps A Lady Awakened is not for you. If you think the steamier, the better, then pick this book up.
Honestly, A Lady Awakened is not without it’s weaknesses – namely pacing. Yes, it did take me time to warm up to Martha,but I did eventually like her. I thought it went on a bit too long about the schools for the poor people and also the whole book is full of tension because everyone is SO scared of Mr. Russell, but he’s barely even in the book. That stated, this IS Cecilia Grant’s debut, so I imagine she has a bright career ahead of her, as I think she can only get better.
Disclosure: Received via Amazon Vine.