A Lady Awakened (Blackshear Family #1) by Cecilia Grant
A Lady Awakened
In Cecilia Grant’s emotionally rich and deeply passionate Regency romance debut, a deal with a rumored rogue turns a proper young woman into . . . A Lady Awakened.
Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes . . . for a fee.
Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow’s weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she’ll get her money’s worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh—only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can’t resist him forever. But could a lady’s sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all . . . love?
I really disliked A Lady Awakened. I hated Martha. I could not stand her and since this is a book about her it did not work out well for me. Oh she was annoying.
Martha is recently widowed, but if she does not produce an heir from that marriage she will lose everything to her husbands brother. She would have to go live with her brother and give up on all of her plans for a school for the girls and everything she is working for. Add to that that she finds out the brother in law is not a good person, that he took advantage of the servant girls when he lived there before, and she is determined to find a way to stay. She just needs someone to impregnate her and that will be that. This all sounds fine when I think about it, but the way she is written negated any good feelings I might have had towards her for trying to help others.
Martha is not a fan of sex. Her husband always just did it and didn't care if she was into it or not. She does not have fond feelings towards it. She pretty much thinks it is for procreation and nothing more. When she finds out Theo has moved in recently and he seems to like the ladies a lot (if the rumors are true) she goes to him with a proposition. Sleep with her every day for a month and hope she gets pregnant. She will pay him of course and then hopefully she can pass off the baby as her late husbands. Man I don't know why Theo came back after that first time. I don't think I have ever read such an awkward, painful sexy time scene. It was really realistic and I was just cringing the whole time. Martha doesn't want any foreplay, she doesn't care if she is ready for him or not, she just wants him to put his seed in her as quickly as possible. *Shudders* It was bad. And she treats Theo like garbage. I hated her.
Martha treats everyone like they are idiots who don't know what is best for them. She knows everything, she knows what is right, and if you don't agree with her well you are just wrong. She was so snotty to everyone. No wonder she doesn't have any friends. She was horrible. Always trying to tell people what to do and thinking herself better than everyone. I understand that she did not grow up with any affection, but the way she is did not make me give her a break because of that. It really made me think "well f you you arrogant judgemental know it all!" Even when I agreed with what she thought was good, what she was trying to do, the way she was written and the way she went about things made me want to rally against her. It made me want her to fail even though it would be good for others. It just made me angry and like who are you to tell these people what to do? Who are you to think so poorly of them if they don't comply with your wishes? You don't know them or their lives so you really have no room to judge them. They might be doing the best they can and even if that is not what you want that is what they can do. Screw you Martha! Can you tell she made me angry?
I am not really sure why Theo would fall for her or keep coming back. She thinks so poorly of him. Even once she starts to soften towards him she still thinks he is incapable of doing something good without her telling him to do it. She thinks so highly of herself and so lowly of others it was terrible. Especially Theo. Theo who is nothing but nice and kind and amazing. I loved him. Yes, at the beginning he didn't really know what he wanted to do with his life, but he wasn't a bad person. Through the book he didn't really change he just found something that he enjoys. He started off learning land management for his farm and everything which really bored him (and that didn't make Martha think to kindly of him - he should want to know this stuff! He should enjoy it! A real man, a good man would....ugh). He was just such a good person and he once he found out something was not so good he immediately tried to fix it. Like his tenants - once he found out how they were living, the state of their houses and such, he wanted to help them. To have such a good person end up with such a arrogant know it all...yes, by the end Martha was better, but I still didn't care for her. Oh Theo was so sweet. Oh and the end was a bit rushed. It was kind of confusing what was happening, what was going on, but at least Theo ended up happy. At least someone did.