11 September 2014

Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway | Not Quite A Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Not Quite a Wife
The Lost Lords # 6
By: Mary Jo Putney
Releasing August 26th, 2014

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

James, Lord Kirkland, owns a shipping fleet, half a London gaming house, and is a ruthlessly effective spymaster. He is seldom self-indulgent…except when it comes to the gentle, indomitable beauty who was once his wife.

Laurel Herbert gave James her heart as an innocent young girl—until she saw him perform an act of shocking violence before her very eyes. That night she left her husband, and he let her go without a word of protest.

Now, ten years later, a chance encounter turns passionate, with consequences that cannot be ignored. But as they try to rebuild what was broken, they must face common enemies and a very uncommon love….

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My Review

The moment Kirkland heard Laurel play the piano, he just knew she was IT for him. It was a whirlwind courtship, and before they knew it, they were married.  But an incident had caused these two love birds drift apart, and after ten years, fate had led them back together.

But ten years has been a long time. Both of them had separate lives already, Laurel was helping her brother Daniel in their house of refuge and infirmary. She had found her calling, and her passion. She finally found something she felt useful for – saving lives, and giving a safe place for victims of abuse.

An accident brought them back together, which led to a passionate encounter that led to consequences which made it impossible for them to ignore. So, they tried to be civil, to become friends to rebuilt what was broken between the two of them. But, an enemy was lurking, and danger wasn’t that far from them…

Laurel was everything good, a little na├»ve, a little frustrating – I wished she just let him explain in the first place. Perhaps it was shock that made her flee. Nevertheless, the years that they were apart made them grew as an individual. Laurel was very young when she married him, ten years after, she had seen it all, although violence still made her flinch.

Kirkland was punishing himself. He allowed their separation as a form of punishment. But he was given a second chance, and this time he would do everything to make her stay. Kirkland was a great man – he had helped a lot of people in his own way. He was a good master to his servant, and made sure they were treated well. I wished Laurel would see this rather than the constant nagging of their past.

I was just glad she met some new friends when she was in London that have opened her eyes, and made her want to try. They deserve this second chance.

One of my favorite scenes in this novel was that of the rescue. Yes, when danger caught up with them, and Laurel was taken, the novel took a 180, and my heart was pumping so hard. Suddenly, I was sitting up, taking it all in, crossing my fingers. There were so much at stake. He needed to save her, I was glad he had loyal friends and servants who wanted to help him and his wife.

There were some slow moments in the novel, but I love it just the same. This was a journey towards reconciliation, acceptance and forgiveness between two lovers who were separated, and once again given a second chance by faith. Indeed, time can change a person, but true love, no matter how time passes, how many people will come and go in your life, and how much the distance is, true love stays.
•Complimentary Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.•

Laurel’s remembering ended when Kirkland moved restlessly, his face shiny with perspiration. She frowned and poured another cup of the fever tea. He needed both the remedy and the fluids. She’d treated enough patients with fever to know how unpredictable the course could be, alternating between chills and fever and at its worst, delirium.

She propped him up on the pillows and slowly coaxed him into drinking more tea. His dark hair was matted with perspiration and needed a cut. He always wore it a little longer than fashion decreed. Though she could see fine lines of strain around his eyes, she was struck by how little his appearance had changed.

He was, what thirty-two now? A man in the prime of life. When they’d met, he’d been twenty-one. Young. He was only recently down from Oxford, and had been in possession of his full inheritance for less than a year.

To her, he’d seemed like a mature man of the world, but looking back, she realized that they were barely more than children. If only they’d had sense to wait! But with passion blazing through their veins, waiting was intolerable, and there were no barriers to prevent them from marrying.

“Damn you, you’ll not get away with that!” Kirkland cried out, his voice harsh. He swung his arm, striking Laurel across her cheek and almost knocking her to the floor.

He began thrashing as if in a fight for his life. Fearing he’d fall from the examination table, she caught his shoulder. “James, stop struggling!” she said briskly. “You’re safe now. I’m with you and you’re safe.”

He stopped trashing and raised his head to stare at her with mad, unfocused eyes. “Laurel? Is that really you?”

She stroked his damp hair back and said soothingly. “Indeed it is, James. You’re having one of your fever attacks, but you’re safe here. You’ll be all right.”

“Oh, God, Laurel!” He caught her around the waist and puller her onto the table beside him in a crushing embrace. “I had the most ghastly dreams that I’d lost you. I looked everywhere and couldn’t find you.” His grip tightened as he said in a hoarse whisper, “You were gone and I was so afraid. So afraid…”

She gasped, shocked by being held full length against his barely clothed body. She knew she should break free, but the sheer physical rightness of being in his arms paralyzed her.

Even more shocking was the raw emotion and need in his voice. When she’d left him, he’d seemed cool and uncaring, as if relieved that she’d no longer require time and attention. He’d shown no signs of pain.

Trying to control her trembling, she said, “I’m not lost, I’m right here. You need to rest and drink more Jesuit’s bark tea. By morning you should be fine.”

“Now that I’ve found you again” – he rolled over so that he was braced above her – “I’ll never let you go.

meet the author

Mary Jo Putney is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written over 60 novels and novellas. A ten-time finalist for the Romance Writers of America RITA, she has won the honor twice and is on the RWA Honor Roll for bestselling authors. In 2013 she was awarded the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Though most of her books have been historical romance, she has also published contemporary romances, historical fantasy, and young adult paranormal historicals. She lives in Maryland with her nearest and dearest, both two and four footed.

Author Links:  Website  | Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


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  1. I get something new out of this excerpt every time I read it. This time, I "got" that Laurel and James married in haste, which is what happens down through the ages and even into today. The intoxication of "falling in love" and the hormones raging has led to many hasty marriages. Sometimes they last, and sometimes they don't. We are not so different now than we were "back in the day." We are merely human. jdh2690@gmail.com