Did you know that I’m a hopeless romantic? Yup, this vampire loving girl has a long history and love affair with historical romance. This is the genre responsible for my obsession with reading. So when I was sent Flawless by Carrie Lofty to read, I was a happy, happy girl. Flawless is every hopeless romantics dream, it has all the components; all the drama and all the heart that one needs to feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for stepsiblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire…and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives.
Lady Vivienne Bancroft fled England for New York, hoping to shed the confines of her arranged marriage to unrepentant rogue Miles Durham, Viscount Bancroft—though she never forgot the fiery desire he unleashed with his slightest touch. And when the gambling man arrives on her doorstep for a little sensual revenge for her desertion, he is met with Vivienne’s dilemma: She must earn her father’s inheritance by profitably running a diamond business worth millions in colonial South Africa.
Swept together in an exotic undertaking filled with heated passion and hungry temptation, will Vivienne and Miles discover that the marriage vows they once made are the greatest snare—or the most treasured reward?
Flawless didn’t let me down; it was everything I needed/wanted it to be. Although, I admit at first I was not into the story, I knew where it was going and though I’m usually ok with that, at least for romance novels, this time I was a bit bored. Miles is portrayed as a selfish, spoiled jerk (I really, really don’t like hero’s like that) who wants to manipulate his estranged wife and then leave her as pay back. Vivienne is prim and proper and wants nothing to do with a husband she barely took the time to know. They are your usual main characters… right?
Then the story takes off and you see that Viv is how she is because of her past, and that if her secret gets out she’s ruined. She must at all times be Viscountess Bancroft or be shunned from the very world she has fought so hard to be a part of. Raised by parents of London gentry, she is the epitome of a lady. To be that, one must never give in to urges or passion, it was considered vulgar and NOT lady like. While I find that whole persona prudish, stuck up and annoying, it is how women used to be, sadly. (I always have to remind myself of this fact.) I really loved that Viv doesn’t just give in to Miles, just because he’s her husband. She doesn’t trust him, and rightfully so, and she makes sure he never forgets how horrible he had been to her. She’s not entirely cruel toward him, but she doesn’t hide her anger or her disdain for him and his behavior. The more he changes the more she does, and the more she realizes he’s not the same man anymore. But she wasn’t a simpering fool; she didn’t play all kinds of mind games, like female characters sometime do. Vivienne was a strong character; she was very real and lovable.
Ms. Lofty did a fabulous job of making you loathe Miles the same way Viv does. He’s mean and pompous; he has no care for anyone but himself, especially not Vivienne. In the beginning he was a gambler, a drunk who smoked cigars and reveled in pushing the proper etiquette boundaries, much to Viv’s dismay. It’s why she left him in London to be with her family in America for two years. Things get worse when you see that he didn’t come to America to be by her side during her grief over losing her father. No he came back because he wanted to seduce her and then leave her as payback for her leaving him. I almost stopped reading right there, I cannot stand people who want to hurt others. But soon I saw that he changes, that he grows up and turned into the man that Viv can trust and love. That he does love her, he was just afraid of how she made him feel. This turnabout is why we romantics fall in love with this genre. I don’t know why but the idea of making a jerk realize his potential, how amazing he can be and how he could love someone is just ….well …romantic.
The plot was pretty predictable, right down to the rogue handsome villain who hits on Viv, but this is expected for romance/historical romance. If it wasn’t predictable, it was missing something. There wasn’t enough conflict between Miles and Vivienne. It’s not like everything was peachy between them, it wasn’t, but it could have been more to show why she detests him so. This could be shrugged off as how the etiquette of the time wouldn’t have allowed such things, but I really wanted a bigger fight between them and it never happened. There could have been more anguish and obstacles in the way for them building up their business. It wasn’t easy but it also wasn’t that difficult for them. She is given a business that is struggling, she has to make a profit to get her inheritance. But there is no failure, there is no real sense of them holding on by their fingertips to this business, or struggling with money.
One part that wasn’t lacking was the romance. Nope, that made my heart all warm and gooey and made me want to cuddle with my hubby. The sexual tension is fierce, it’s there every single second and it’s fought off by misunderstandings and pride. And when they finally get together, wowza people, it’s hot and sticky sweet. I haven’t read sex scenes that romantical and sexy in a very long time.
Flawless may not be flawless itself, but it is everything you want and expect, and most importantly, love in a romance novel. I fell in love with the characters and got wrapped up in their fairytale and I’m positive you will too. Reading this book reminded me of why I can’t get enough of this genre. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m on to the next book in Carrie Lofty’s Christies series, Starlight.