Title: The Untouchable Earl
Series: Fallen Ladies #2
Author: Amy Sandas
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Published: November 1 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 4 stars
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing the respectable debutante. 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 fills her with breathless terror and impossible yearning.
Though the 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 arm’s 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 heal his troubled heart.
Titles in this series include: Luck Is No Lady – The Untouchable Earl
The Untouchable Earl has a fascinating premise – a man who is unable to stand any touch on his upper body without experiencing pain, true physical pain. This issue has left him a bit estranged from his father, and of course, his friends know to not go slapping him on the back. Yet it does lead to an odd life when one thinks of how often we are touched in the course of a day or even brush against something. It cannot have been an easy life as a child or as an adult.
Lily is the middle sister whose late father has left horrendous amounts of debt. We met Emma in Luck Is No Lady, and while it seems that these two stories happen around the same time frame, I would have to recommend reading them in order. No, you don’t have to – it’s a strong suggestion. *grin* Lily devours the dark erotic novels of her time, and longs to find such passion and desire in her own life, but knows that probably isn’t her future. When she is snatched off the street by a moneylender who was owed a great deal of money, she was put up for bid at a pleasure house – an establishment that Avenell happens to be visiting at that time. When the Earl of Harte makes the highest bid, Lily is stunned, and perhaps hopeful for the first time in this whole ordeal. She’s not sure exactly what to expect of him, and his actions will surprise her in ways she never thought possible.
Lily and Avenell’s romance is entertaining and thoughtful. How would a couple be able to have a physical relationship of any sort if the slightest touch caused the other intense pain? I’m not necessarily thinking about sexual moments, but a hug, holding hands, a kiss, even brushing one’s body up against the other… all things that couples in a relationship do without thought.
It was interesting, and at times down right fascinating how the author brought about the changes usually found in a relationship to allow for Avenell’s condition. The use of descriptive touch sensations gives the reader a sense of what Avenell is feeling, and as much as I enjoyed this story, at times they got a bit over the top. (personal opinion there)
I did enjoy this couple’s romance. A few unexpected things, and a brave couple deliver a very satisfying romance. I would recommend this one, and the series as well.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this novel. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this story.*
Available in paperback and for the Kindle