Narrator: Audrey Lusk
Audio length: Two hours, 23 minutes
Summary: Historical/BDSM/Erotic novella… Book 2 in the Blind Cupid series.
Hiding secrets and a past she longs to forget, Hortense Jennings answers an ad for a governess and embarks on an adventure she did not expect.
Concealed in a gothic, crumbling manor on the edge of a North Sea cliff, Baron Simon Wolstenholme is hiding from life. Horribly scarred from battle wounds, he lives up to his name “The Beast of Stonecliff” in both appearance and attitude until he realizes how lonely he has become.
Simon propositions Hortense for a singular night of passion. Raging weather and storms of anger clash between a lonely man and a distrustful woman to reveal secret desires in an emotional crescendo. Can the Governess and the Beast find calm amid the storm and admit their true feelings, or will pride destroy the fairy tale before it begins?
Review: This was an interesting historical take on Beauty and the Beast, except Beauty carries scars of her own. A former soldier, Simon was damaged and scarred in battle. He has grown reclusive, a subject of gossip by the people in the village. He has shunned his friends and acquaintances. But now he is lonely. He wants company, female company.
To this end, he puts out an ad for a governess for his ward and then plans on making more of the woman who appears. This woman is Hortense, who is desperately trying to begin a new life for herself. I actually felt really bad for her, because the offer Simon puts forth basically brings her right back to her former life and yet really, what choice did she have? Good for her for putting conditions on it.
One night together, that’s what they have between them and they have sex. A lot of sex and Simon is very focused on making things good for Hortense. A lovely thing, that Simon.
As far as the BDSM aspect goes, it’s very light. A bit of tie up is the farthest they go and it was not done as I would have expected, so I liked it all the more.
I have to admit, while I am a fan of audiobooks, this narrator’s performance detracted from the book. While her delivery during descriptions was spot on, dialogue tended to be very over dramatic and made me view the characters as ridiculous when they shouldn’t have been.
As this is a short tale, there is a lot of sex for the length but that’s what the story is about. There is insta-love, as well, but it worked for me. Something I particularly liked was that the situation Hortense found herself in when her father died was exactly what could happen back in those times of women having no status. This is an easy, quick read, particularly for historical fans.