He hated her.
At least, he tried to hate her, but it was so damn difficult to hate someone that he couldn’t live without. He tried to ignore her, tried to focus on anything but her, but nothing worked. Somehow she made her way into his heart and started to make him want things that he never though possible, made him smile and laugh even while she drove him out of his mind and started a legacy by turning him into…..
Elizabeth's character stuck out to me, it seemed there were almost two sides to her. One for society and one for her family, but underneath it all she is an incredibly compassionate and kind woman. Which is why it was all the more amusing seeing her take on Robert, because that side of her greatly contrasted the woman we see. Of course it is illustrated rather comically how Robert seems to bring out the worst in her and vice versa. I admired her character for refusing to submit to society's expectations, for wanting to make a difference and really help those less fortunate. Many women would not only have given up but would never even entertain such thoughts, after all your family's reputation comes before everything else. This is why I think R.L. did a fantastic job on Elizabeth's character, she was easy to relate to and you couldn't help but admire her big heart. She also puts up with a lot from Robert, a feta all in itself when many would have caused bodily harm years ago.
I loved how they reconnected after years apart, it wasn't what I was expecting and I have to say it was definitely a pleasant surprise. Feeling that raw passion and chemistry had me grinning from ear to ear, but then of course afterwards my tummy was in knots of unease because all I could think was 'oh shit it's all going to come crashing down'. It was half the fun I suppose to see how they'd handle the situation, and I don't think I've ever wanted to skip ahead more just ease the butterflies. At times I was sure all was lost, and then other times I was certain everything would be resolved. Robert would discover Elizabeth's little secret, shit would hit the proverbial fan and then everything would be all tickety boo. Boy was I wrong, R.L. takes us through laughter, tears and screams of frustration. All worth it in the end I assure you, and I don't think a couple has ever been better suited than Elizabeth and Robert.
“If I don’t smile, look pretty, attend the right function, accept the attentions of the right gentlemen, my father will rule my life with an iron fist. I don’t like to embroider. I would rather sew quilts since it seems a better use of a skill to keep one warm than to make something look frivolous. I enjoy cooking, but I’m not supposed to. No woman in society is supposed to enjoy that. We’re supposed to enjoy ordering other people to do that for us,” she said with a conspiratorial smile that he found utterly adorable.
Elizabeth turned around, sighing happily, in her chair and pushed aside his papers. “If you don’t mind, Robert, you’re in my light and probably in Mr. Jenkins’s light as well. If you want the poor man to be able to work, then you should really move.”
When he didn’t respond she got nervous. She looked up slowly to see him practically shaking with rage. She gulped. Giving him a tentative smile she asked, “Too far?” Slowly, he nodded.
“To find a bedroom so that you can make up for your lack of loyalty to me,” he said, smiling that carefree smile that had started to appear since they’d left London.
“Because I wouldn’t attack an old woman for you?” she asked, trying not to smile.
There were many misunderstanding between Robert and Elizabeth which leads him to acting like a bit of a tool, like I said there are many different sides to Elizabeth and we get to see them before him so his actions obviously seem harsh if not grating at the best of times. I can't say Robert's my favorite Bradford, but I did fall for the man I mean it was hard not to. While a complete douchenozzle at times, he redeemed himself in the most sweetest of ways especially when they are finally together. It kind of felt like all was right in the world. I greatly enjoyed how R.L. depicted society at the time, and explained why Robert was the way he was. While set in a different time period it did nothing to subtract from he awesomeness of all that is Bradford, and in essence R.L. Mathewson.
He couldn’t stand this. The one woman in the world that he shouldn’t want was the one woman he was discovering that he couldn’t live without. She was becoming an obsession for him and he was powerless to do anything about it.
Finally, the damn woman dropped her arm. She folded her hands in front of her as she looked up at him, her expression stern. “Mr. Bradford, it wasn’t Mrs. Bradford that I caught pinning you up against the wall and kissing you senseless when I returned from getting another bucket of soapy water,” she said, reminding him of his offense and making it damn difficult not to smile.
“I was just trying to clean,” Elizabeth said softly, adding a pathetic sniffle at the end that had him biting back another smile and Mrs. Brown’s eyes narrowing on him.
"I love you more, minx," he said against her lips.
"Probably," she easily agreed as she wrapped her arms around his neck and moved to deepen their kiss.
So my rating minions? 5 smashing stars, because R.L. has done it again. While it's no secret I'm stalker obsessed with R.L.'s work, I couldn't lie to you even if I wanted to. If you've read her Neighbour From Hell Series, or skittles any of her works then you know what I'm talking about. There are some authors out there who just have the gift to make each book as good, if not better, than the last. I also think it's worth commending her for writing a historic novel, in some cases when an author ventures into unfamiliar territory it backfires, and the fact that R.L. gives vivid depictions of the time from the scenery to the customs and traditions is in itself fascinating, especially if you're a history buff like myself, but more than that it has that style of writing which is completely hers alone. If you're looking for witty banter, a unique sense of humor, hot sex and a swoon worthy Bradford then look no further.