The Untouchable Earl (Fallen Ladies #2) by Amy Sandas
Synopsis: “Are you afraid?”
“Yes,” she replied in a soft voice. “But I love the way you frighten me.”
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning…
Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret-one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.
Review: This one was dark and passionate. It takes place while book one, Luck is No Lady, is so you get to see Emma and Bently come together from Lily’s perspective. Her Lord Hart is a cold and angry man, at least in the beginning until Lily discovers why he keeps his distance. She is kidnapped and taken to Lord Hart’s brothel where she is auctioned off. The Madame of the establishment invites him because she knows he won’t stand for it, though I don’t think she knows of their actual connection. When he rescues her, she propositions him into becoming his mistress. She wants him and if the only way to have him is to be his mistress then that was what she will do. She sees herself has ruined due to the brothel situation and she doesn’t want to marry, but she does want him. As their relationship progresses, Lily comes to love him and he inevitably pushes her away in order to protect himself from being hurt again. But not for long. Madame Pendragon talks sense into him and he sets out to get her back, and Lily sets out to prove to him that her love isn’t going anywhere and that he can trust her with himself. I enjoyed this story, it was easy to get into and moved along well. Lord Hart was an interesting character; he was dark and mysterious, vulnerable and yet strong, and very much attracted to Lily from the very beginning, even when he led her to believe he hated her. Amy Sandas knows how to spin a tale of passion, complicated characters, and a plot line that moves well and is enjoyable to watch unfold.