Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: Runaway Heiress (Dare to Defy #1) by Syrie James

"Be careful, Miss Watson. An unleashed passion can be dangerous, as you have just proved." - Thomas Carlyle

Runaway Heiress
Series: Dare to Defy #1
Author: Syrie James
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Published: June 12, 2018
Source: Publisher

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When a runaway heiress runs into trouble, she may end up exactly where she belongs… 

Brainy and college-educated, American heiress Alexandra Atherton will do anything to avoid marriage to the English peer her mother has chosen for her--even abandon the life of privilege she's always known. But as her escape goes horribly wrong, Alexandra must invent a new identity to gain the help of a handsome stranger.

Thomas Carlyle, the Earl of Longford, sweeps in and out of London disguised as a humble artist, earning just enough to keep his ancestral Cornwall estate afloat. When Alexandra crashes into his life, she awakens feelings and desires that he vows will stay buried. Despite himself, he needs this beautiful newcomer, for his sisters have run off another governess.

Alexandra is surprised to find she thrives in her new position at Longford's home. But as she grows closer to Thomas and his sisters, and her relationship with the emotionally guarded earl unleashes their hidden passions, the truth Alexandra's been forced to hide may end up coming between her and the only man she's ever loved.

As I read more historical romance, I'm starting to discover elements that I like. For instance, I realized that I love a good hidden identity romance. Not all that surprising since I also enjoy that in contemporary romance. I'm also loving a governess heroine. Again, not surprising since Jane Eyre is my absolute favorite classic romance. Put those two together and apparently I'm as happy as a clam. 

I enjoyed Runaway Heiress. It was a fun and light historical romance with lovable characters, witty banter, and enough sexual tension to make my day. The tension between Alexandra and Thomas was electric. I loved watching her standing firm in her beliefs and refusing to back down to anyone. Thomas soon finds himself drawn to her passion and excitement in a way he's never experienced before. The moments where they both let their guards down and act on that attraction... Um, yes please.

There were two elements in Runaway Heiress that I loved. The first was Lexie as the governess. I loved the scenes with her, Julia, and Lillie. Lexie getting to know the girls and watching them come out of their shells was adorable. The second element was seeing how the lack of funds truly affected Thomas and his tenants. I feel like that is something that is often alluded to in historical romances, but it's something I've never scene play out in such detail. So I enjoyed seeing how much they depended on Thomas for their livelihoods and well-being. It helped me understand the period a bit more.

Overall, I thought Runaway Heiress was a fun romance and I'm curious to see how the series plays out. Will it follow Alexandra's sisters? Or will Thomas's friend be the next hero? I can't wait to find out.

Syrie James is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Nocturne; Dracula, My Love; The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte (Great Group Read, Women's National Book Association; Audie Romance Award, 2011), and the international bestseller The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (Best First Novel 2008, Library Journal.) Translation rights for Syrie's books have been sold in sixteen languages. An admitted Anglophile, Syrie loves paranormal romance and all things 19th century. She lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.

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