ARC Review: With This Kiss (I, II, and III) by Eloisa James
Author: Eloisa James
Title: With This Kiss (Parts I, II, and III)
Release: March 12, 2013
Lady Grace Ryburn, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ashbrook, has fallen wildly in love with Colin Barry, a dashing young lieutenant serving his country in the Royal Navy. When he returns home to exuberant celebrations, will he even notice the quiet wallflower he grew up with … or will he fall for Grace’s sparkling, gorgeous sister?
It isn’t often that I cry when reading historical romances. I mean – it does happen, but usually only during the super emotional moments between the hero and heroine but this time around – I found myself getting teary-eyed from the first chapter.
Grace is the daughter of the hero and heroine from James’ The Ugly Duchess. She’s the quiet one, usually completely overshadowed by her younger sister Lily, she feels more comfortable observing others from the sidelines. From a very young age she has adored Colin Barry, adopted son of Sir Griffin Barry (hero of the novella Seduced by a Pirate) while he sees her as a younger sister.
When Colin goes off to the navy, she starts corresponding with him, telling him all about daily life and sending him drawings of their families. Colin hardly ever responds, but she continues, falling desperately in love with the boy she grew up with. But then he comes back and meets Lily ….
The story is divided into three parts – and I was lucky enough to get early review copies of all three so I could read it as one book. My recommendation? Make sure you have all three parts or you’ll be blubbering.
I think Grace has become one of my favorite heroines, she is such a sympathetic character. Grace by name and by nature she is a strong, smart, funny and caring young woman who doesn’t lie to herself about her feelings or the fact that they may not be reciprocated. Her feelings for Colin never reach that point where you just say – oh let go already he’s not worth it! This is most probably because even though you do occasionally have this urge to hit Colin on the head with a hammer, James has written a hero that tugs at your heart strings.
Even when Colin overlooks Grace (how dare he???) for Lily, there is more to it than meets the eye and I for one, wanted to hug him for what he was going through. Then I wanted to hug Grace and tell her how wonderful she was and why she deserved the best.
When Colin finally realizes what was standing right in front of him, it might just be too late…
I’m trying not to ruin the plot so that’s as far as I’ll go but I can’t state this enough – after a few really pitiful reads where ‘heroine’ is the last thing an author should be calling the female lead, James’ With This Kiss gives readers a heroine with a capital H – Grace may observe from the sidelines, but that doesn’t mean she is set to let life and love pass her by.
With This Kiss was just wonderful, a touching historical romance that got everything just right. I was even rooting for Lily by the end of it. I hope she and a certain Scottish lord get their happy ends too! I only wish this was a full length story rather than a shorter novella because there was so much that could have been explored.