‘Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1)’ by Jane Lark Blog Tour!
Welcome to Stop One on the Illicit Love blog tour! Jane Lark is celebrating her first instalment in the Marlow Intrigues series with a HUGE giveaway – including a one night stay in London’s Regency Hotel, a novella, Amazon gift voucher, signed copies of Illicit Love and plenty of swag!
‘Ellen Harding longs to be free of the life she is trapped in – her husband died at the battle of Waterloo and her family disowned her and now she lives under the reign of a cruel protector. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines escaping her chains for a night by giving her body to him – to a man of her choosing – even if only to infuriate her captor.
But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her and her subconscious whispers that this man could save her. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her ever being free. She has too many battles to fight.
Edward is restless, lonely and a little angry with his lot in life – it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking and he cannot take his gaze off of her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. But once he’s known her he cannot forget her – and once he’s seen how brutal her protector is, how can leave her with the man? But she will not run anymore than she will speak of her past, so how can he help her…’
Book Review – ‘Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1)’ by Jane Lark ~ 5 Stars!
A wonderful break from the real world, ‘Illicit Love’ is a beautiful story of the strength of love in the face of adversity and the importance of the bond of family. There is so much that I love about this story but can’t talk about in case it spoils the story development for potential readers, but I will say that this is a superbly written book. I absolutely adored Jane Lark’s writing style, and I am in awe at how beautifully the descriptive prose flowed throughout the novel.
‘Illicit Love’ is very different to a lot of books in the ‘Historical Romance’ genre, and with its very real characters, I feel it gave a more realistic view of life in an era which most of us tend to think of as extremely romantic. Whilst we all tend to swoon at characters such as Mr. Darcy for their respectful and appropriate treatment of women, I really loved the way that hero Edward Marlow was depicted and particularly how he acts with Ellen during their first meeting. Whilst he abhors the treatment young mistresses receive from their ‘owners’, the author is clear to show that above all else, he is still a man, and despite his virtues he still engages in a sexual relationship with heroine Ellen during their first encounter, even if he later regrets his actions. I think a lot of us tend to forget when reading historical romances that men are still men, no matter what era they were born into, and I loved seeing this different side to a romantic hero.
From this I loved everything about Edward and Ellen’s relationship, especially how Ellen blossomed when she was in Edward’s company, but also how she feared that he was too good for her. I liked how despite Edward being a few years younger than Ellen, he seemed wiser than his years, and his experience of the real world therefore didn’t make him seem too young for her.
Despite being at risk of being attacked by feminists everywhere, my favourite character was Edward’s brother Robert. From our first glimpse of Robert I found myself so intrigued with his character, and the obvious pain and heartbreak he was hiding behind a mask of disinterest and sarcasm. Whilst I felt furious at his behaviour towards Ellen during their first meetings, I always had hope that his actions were all due to his desire to protect his brother from harm, and I loved how his character developed throughout the course of the story.
The pace of the novel was so different to many novels, and I really loved it. In many novels you have a huge build-up to the main drama at the end part of the novel, however in ‘Illicit Love’, the story has many peaks and falls in the intensity of the drama, starting well before the mid-way point of the book. It was a brilliant way of keeping the reader’s attention and also giving little snippets of new information that is uncovered from each crisis that is then added together in a stunning conclusion where we finally understand the feelings and actions of the different characters.
The historical context of the novel was well depicted, and I loved the brilliant descriptions of the clothing of both the men and women. I loved how attention was given to the fashion of the time, as it really helped me to integrate myself into the story and feel myself as part of it, rather than merely reading about it from the outside.
This was a fantastic read which I highly recommend to all lovers of romance. A superbly written tale of love, loss, family and bravery, this is one not to be missed. 5 Stars!
Check Out Jane’s New Novella Available At Amazon:
Captured Love – What they say:
‘Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is missing his cousin’s company. He has too many burdens weighing down his shoulders, including the task of finding his sister, Rowena, a husband.
Meredith Divine has one friend in all the world, Lady Rowena Stanforth. She clings to their friendship as though it is a rope, when she is drowning in a lake of social isolation. Even Rowena’s elder brother cannot stand Meredith. Everyone judges her poorly, simply because her father is in trade. But despite Lord Morton’s constant rejection, Meredith’s heart still favors Rowena’s proud, judgmental brother.
Lord Morton would break the friendship his sister has with Miss Divine if he could, but the more he disparages Miss Divine, the more Rowena favors the girl. He’s ceased his complaints, in the hope the friendship would wither and die, believing the girl would make a wrong step soon. He just did not anticipate what that step might be…’
Want To Win A Night In London’s Regency Hotel?
The Regency Hotel has been kind enough to support the Illicit Love blog tour by donating a one night stay for two lucky winners this August! Located in the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington, you could find yourself relaxing in one of hotel’s plush new bedrooms or sampling the delights of their incredible traditional afternoon teas.
Readers have plenty of chances to win:
Either entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com.
The winner will be emailed a voucher, which can be redeemed for stays during August 2013 only. Giveaway closes 19th July 2013.
Win £30 (or $40) Amazon Gift Voucher! Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com. a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway closes 19th July 2013 and is open to UK and USA residents only. Win One Of Three Swag Packs With Signed Paperback Copy of Illicit Love Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com.
Giveaway closes 19th July.
Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book that drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. ‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’ Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life. Check out Jane’s musical inspirations HERE and HERE.