Author: Sabrina York
Published: 2/22/2013 - Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
Format: eBook only
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The sizzling prequel to Folly
When Lady Helena Simpson flees an unwanted marriage to a revolting lord, she finds refuge in a humble gardener’s cottage. Cocooned and safe with James, a charming, handsome man unlike any she was ever known, Helena concocts the perfect solution to her problem. She asks—begs—James to ruin her.
Surely her betrothed will repudiate her if she is no longer pure. And if all her efforts fail and she still ends up married to a horrid man until the end of her days—she will, at least once, have known true passion.
But James is not all he seems. He is, in fact, a wicked lord with a dark fancy. When Helena awakens his desire, he becomes determined to take everything she has to offer, and more. No matter the cost.
Sabrina York is one of my new favorite authors since I got my Kindle. This is the first book of hers that I'm reviewing on my blog, but I have read and reviewed almost all of her books on Goodreads. Her books are so much fun to read. The characters are always fresh and pretty damn funny. The writing style is witty and playful. You just fall in love with her characters and her books.
We first meet Helena and James in Folly where they are a newly married couple that cannot keep their hands off each other. I loved them as secondary characters, especially Helena, because of how concerned they were for Eleanor. So of course I was over the moon when Sabrina announced Dark Fancy was the prequel to Folly and the story of how Helena met James. I loved Helena in Folly, but I fell for James in this book. He meets Helena and instantly thinks she is either a child or a teenager. He's sweet and compasionate towards her until he gets her into the gardner's house. His feelings towards her go through the roof. His reaction to Helena's proposition was hysterical. In the few uninterupted days they spend together, James focuses on Helena's lessons and draws her out of her "obedient" shell she was forced into at school for girls. We see a lot of Helena in Folly and in this book, her reactions towards Eleanor are reinforced. Helena is a sassy woman. She knows that she wants James and she wants to feel passion towards a man, so she gets it. Boy, does she ever get it. But when she finds out that James has been keeping a pretty big secret from her, she fights him tooth and nail when he tries to claim her. Of course, everything works out in the end.
Since Dark Fancy in the prequel to Folly, there are two ways you could read the series. I enjoyed the books better by reading this book after Folly. I get to meet James and Helena as secondary characters in Folly and I loved them together. And then when I read Dark Fancy, I got to know them on a deeper level and fall for them all over again. Plus you get chuckle at the end of the books when you learn just why James and Helena named their son Edward.
Speaking of Edward... Sabrina, you are such a tease! Here I thought this would be the last time we see these characters, then we meet Edward. As a friend of James, Edward sort of helps (...in his own little way) James "win" Helena back. Edward is a cad... And of course, I want more of him. :)