Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ARC Book Review-The Secret Life Of Lady Julia

The Secret Life Of Lady Julia
Lecia Cornwall
Avon Books
E Book
Published May 28 2013
384 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN 9780-06-220245-1
Author's Website 
Just a year or so ago, Julia was a lovely earl's daughter, celebrating her betrothal to David, the Duke of Temberlay and set for a life of elegance and luxury.

But at her betrothal ball, she meets a stranger, a man who makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world—and when your fiancé thinks of you more as a little sister than a bride, that kind of attention can certainly turn a lady's head.

Thomas Merritt is a thief with a secret past of his own. He attended Julia's betrothal ball to steal her jewels, but ended up leaving with far more, utterly bewitched by the beautiful, innocent Lady Julia. After their one glorious evening together, Thomas leaves London, knowing he can never be part of her world again.

Julia's steamy encounter with Thomas Merritt changes her life. Now, she's no longer an earl's daughter (disowned), or a duke's bride-to-be (deceased). She's an outcast and a mere paid companion to a lady who used to be her equal.

But things are looking up. She's on her way to Vienna on a breathtaking adventure, and her employer's handsome brother seems more than willing to overlook Julia's scandalous past. Love is in the air, dear readers!

Julia and Thomas meet again in Vienna under most inconvenient circumstances during the great peace conference meant to determine the fate of Europe now that Napoleon has been defeated. All the crowned heads of Europe are in attendance, and at the lavish parties, salons, and grand balls, secrets lurk behind every fan, under honorable military tunics, and beyond every half-closed door, and Thomas is not the only thief in town. When Julia discovers a plot that could destroy her new life, Thomas Merritt is the only man who can save the day, and only she can save him from certain death.

And at yet another betrothal ball, they meet again...
My Review
Lady Julia was engaged to the Duke of Temberlay, whom she thought of as a good man but didn't truly love him like a woman should love the man she is about to marry. On the evening of her engagement ball, she ends up dancing with a Thomas Merritt, where she feels passion for the first time. They share a beautiful night together, and she doesn't see Thomas again for quite some time. She ends up pregnant, and her family disowns her, and she ends up as a companion for a woman who is close to her age but has lost her child and husband. So she ends up in Vienna, during a peace conference after Napolean has been placed on a secluded island. Through a certain set of circumstances she comes face to face with Thomas Merritt once more, and all her hidden feelings for him come rushing back and she wonders if she can say good bye once again.

My Thoughts 
I was given a copy of this book by Edelweiss and Avon books in exchange for a honest review. This is the first time that I have read from this author, and I was a bit apprehensive because I didn't know what to expect or if I would have a hard time reading this. Surprisingly I found it to be a easy to get into read, and was quite unique for a historical romance set in the regency era.

Julia has been betrothed to her fiancee since she was seven years old, she has known him forever. He is nice, and a good man, and she loves him like you would care for a friend. But its not deep intense love that takes your breath away.  Then she dances with Thomas Merritt, and even though she doesn't know him, she feels like she could fall in love with him very easily, he brings a desire to her that she has never felt before. Then after sharing a very sensual night in each others arms, she doesn't see him again, and decides to be honest with her fiancee and her family. But they end up throwing her out to the wolves, with no family or home. She ends up being a companion to a young woman, who is deep in her grief, and needs someone to assist her on their trip to Vienna. When she comes to Vienna, she finds herself embroiled in a variety of circumstances. It is hard to know who to trust, with secrets laying beneath every corner, and despite the glittering ballrooms and the royal dignitaries, Julia knows she is in way over her head, especially when she comes face to face with Thomas Merritt. She finds herself being slowly seduced by him once again. She knows that she will have to make a difficult choice soon.

Thomas Merritt, has been abandoned by his family, through a misunderstanding. Now he and his valet, survive by being thieves of jewels. I found Thomas to definitely not the typical hero you find in this type of scenario. Despite his occupation, he does have some admirable qualities that only make him more appealing. Julia has been thrown into a hard set of circumstances herself, and does what she can to make the best of it. I loved how strong willed she was,  and I felt like she was a good match for Thomas. We don't see a whole lot of interaction, just both sides of their different lives that eventually lead up to finding each other again.

There were some things that I enjoyed about this one and a couple of aspects that I didn't enjoy so much. I didn't like how through the majority of the book, we don't see much interaction between Thomas and Julia. They are apart for most of the story, which was a bummer for me. I mean it was still a fun and like able read, but I always like more interaction than less. And things start to really escalate once they get together again, and I just had such a exciting time with the secret plots and intrigue and passion that plays out in the end. And as a plus there is quite a bit of good history here, its apparent that the author did good research (which is always something I admire in historical fiction authors)I found it to be a unique play of events and it definitely caught my attention. A story you don't want to miss out on, and I definitely plan on reading more of this author.

First Line 
When she looked back on the events of her betrothal ball, Lady Julia Leighton blamed it on the champagne. 

Favorite Quotes 
"A woman should feel like there are stars coming through her blood when a man kisses her properly. Even if it is the simplest brush of his lips on hers, she should feel it in every inch of her body."

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 


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