Unlocked ~ Courtney Milan

  • Title: Unlocked
  • Author: Courtney Milan
  • Series: Turner #1.6
  • Genre: Historical romance
  • Format: Kindle
  • Source: Own
  • Reviewed by: Olga
  • Rating: 4 out of 5

Description:  A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormenter is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.

Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love.

Review:  This novella is short and sweet. I enjoyed it. I first learned of it from my GoodReads friend, MrsJoseph’s tantalizing review.Thank you, MrsJoseph.

Lord Evan returns to London after ten years of self-imposed exile. Ten years ago, he made fun of the girl he fell in love with, Lady Elaine. The society picked up on his teasing, making Elaine a laughing stock for years, while he, unable to witness the cruel result of his callow actions, ran away to the continent. Now, he is back in England and determined to right the wrongs he had done to Lady Elaine.

Unfortunately, his apology is not received kindly. Elaine doesn’t trust him. She is sure he has returned to torment her again. It takes some serious groveling on Evan’s part to win what he covets most: Elaine’s trust. Her love would be a bonus he knows he doesn’t deserve but he can’t help hoping: maybe some day she will love him… He is still madly in love with her.
The story develops swiftly, as Evan and Elaine dance their sensual duet around each other. While Evan tries to find forgiveness, Elaine learns to trust again. Their sexual attraction sparks and sizzles.

One of the most delicious aspects of this story for me was that Evan found the courage to change. He made himself vulnerable, opened himself to ridicule for the sake of the woman he loved. It takes guts to do that. At least some brave men out there are capable of such a feat. I hope. (Alas, I’ve never met one, but Elaine is obviously luckier. I do relish it, when men grovel in fiction. They never do in real life.)

It took Evan nine months to regain Elaine’s trust, but the writer only gives one short line to the entire process: “Nine months later.” I think it is the most serious flaw of this book. If the writer devoted at least a few more chapters to the events happening during those nine months, if she had shown the slow thawing of Elaine’s heart, the story would’ve been so much richer and infinitely more satisfying. I badly want to know how the heroes arrived from the beginning to the end. Maybe I could convince the author to write … not the sequel but the middle of this tale.

Otherwise, a charming historical romance. If you feel blue for some reason, read this novella. You’re guaranteed to feel better. 

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