Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but in Anneliese Barlow's experience, it leads to poor choices and unnecessarily tragic outcomes . . . and there is nothing blissful about either.
Forced to flee her father's brutal heir, Anneliese masquerades as Lisa Brown, a servant in the grand, country mansion of the Duke of Worthington. Befriended by her fellow maids, she tries—and fails—to avoid attention while awaiting the return of the duke, her father's friend. Discovering the life of gentility she had known was a virtual fairy tale, reality a dark and forbidding place, Lisa faces danger at every turn.
Captivated by the beautiful maid, Nathaniel Stanton, the Marquis of Marsden, decides the only way to protect the new girl is by offering her his protection. With her reputation ruined and all hope of returning to her previous station seemingly lost, Lisa surrenders her virtue to the man she has come to love almost beyond reason. Finding unexpected passion in Nathaniel's arms, her senses are awakened to a world of sensuality she had not known existed. A world not without grave risks.
Believing it is the only way he can keep her in his life, Nathaniel asks Lisa to be his mistress, promising her a home and a future with him . . . of sorts. Despite her misgivings about its dubious morality, she accepts the position rather than be separated from Nathaniel. But her father's heir, Lord Copeland, has not given up in his quest to have her for himself.
With her freedom, Nathaniel's position in society, and the future of countless others at stake, she must sacrifice her future happiness and find a way to disappear forever. If her identity is uncovered, Lisa's innocence won't be the only thing that's lost.
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Release Date: December 17th, 2013
Genre: Regency Romance/Historical
Medium: eBook and Paperback
Published by: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
As the only child of Sir George, Anneliese “Lisa” Barlow would be penniless upon her father’s death. At just nineteen, Lisa believes there is plenty of time to find a husband. When her father’s heir, Lord Copeland, becomes desperate for his inheritance, he shoots Sir George and demands Lisa become his wife. Lisa would never doom her future with a husband the likes of Copeland, so she flees to an estate of a family friend, Lord Thomas Stanton, Duke of Worthington. The Duke has left on a honeymoon with his second wife when she arrives and Lisa is forced to work as a maid in disguise. When the Duke’s eldest son, Nathaniel, takes a liking to Lisa, things get a tad scandalous.
This novel seems more like that of a seasoned historical romance novelist than a debut. The knowledge of the time period and customs is breathtakingly accurate. Ms. de Sallier’s portrayal of Lisa and her struggle to understand the world that was taking shape around her was brilliant and a thrill to experience. All the differences between Nathaniel and Lisa are quite evident from the start, but Ms. de Sallier’s depiction of their attraction and intimacy make them perfect for each other.
I devoured the 313-page copy I received in one day. I don’t even recall the last time enjoyed reading a book of that length and read so incredibly fast. I highly recommend this book to any historical romance lover. If you enjoy the novels of Rose Gordon or Christine Merrill, Innocence should be the next book on your to be read list.
Thank you to Elise de Sallier, The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House, and The Masquerade Crew for an advanced reader's copy of Innocence in exchanged for an honest review.
Elise met the love of her life when she was only sixteen, married him three years later, and recently celebrated her thirtieth wedding anniversary. Needless to say, she is a big believer in living Happily Ever After. With a lifetime's worth of experience behind her, Elise also believes great relationships don't just happen, they take work . . . which doesn’t mean writing about them can’t be a whole lot of fun.
After surviving all manner of health obstacles while raising a family and nursing her elderly grandmother—her writing namesake, though she’d have been shocked by her granddaughter’s steamy love scenes—Elise established a career as a counselor and family therapist. Seeking an escape from the stresses of her work, she discovered the world of fan fiction, and her timid writer’s muse began to make its voice heard. Two point three million hits, twelve and a half thousand reviews, and an email from an acquisitions editor at The Writer's Coffee Shop later, and Elise's life found a new and fascinating direction.
A romantic fiction addict from way back, writing her own historical and paranormal romances—and having others read and fall in love with her characters and the worlds she creates—is a dream come true. Elise likes to see her characters grow, experience passion and adventure, tackle some difficult issues, and find lasting love . . . eventually.
Will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes after December 17th.