The Affair

The Affair

4.0 12
by Lily Maxton
     
 

London, 1817. When a beautiful stranger ducks into his bookshop during a rainstorm, Cale Cameron, well-known rake, is instantly attracted to her. Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill, is restless and hungers for something she cannot name. Society would never accept a countess and a mere bookseller, so they agree to a one-week affair to indulge their desire. As their

Overview

London, 1817. When a beautiful stranger ducks into his bookshop during a rainstorm, Cale Cameron, well-known rake, is instantly attracted to her. Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill, is restless and hungers for something she cannot name. Society would never accept a countess and a mere bookseller, so they agree to a one-week affair to indulge their desire. As their passion ignites and their connection grows, Elizabeth threatens the one thing Cale has protected above all else—his heart. Letting her go is the only solution, and the one thing he is not prepared to do.

The Sisters of Scandal series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 The Affair
Book #2 The Wager
Book #3 The Love Match
Book #4 The Mistake
Book #5 The Improper Bride

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622665488
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
04/14/2014
Series:
Sisters of Scandal
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
81
Sales rank:
66,291
File size:
3 MB

Read an Excerpt

The Affair

A Sisters of Scandal Novella


By Lily Maxton, Nina Bruhns

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Lily Maxton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-548-8


CHAPTER 1

London, 1817

Charles Edward Lucien Grey, Earl of Thornhill, had died when he was thrown from his horse in what everyone called a tragic riding accident. Elizabeth, the Countess of Thornhill, could have predicted her husband would meet his end in such a manner. He'd always bought the fastest thoroughbreds and raced across the country at breakneck speeds ... so it wasn't surprising to her that he actually had broken his neck one misty afternoon when his horse threw him.

She'd moved back into her parents' house with her unmarried sisters, unwilling to stay at Wycombe Manor, the Thornhill seat, by herself. It was a vast, empty house that had never held many happy memories, even when her husband was alive. But even if she had been willing to stay on, he had mismanaged the estate so badly that by the time the creditors had gone through it, there wasn't much money left for her to live on.

She forced herself through the required mourning, first wearing all black and then whites and grays and washed-out lavenders. She didn't go out to society functions; she didn't dance. It was a sort of half-life, like clouds marring a summer day — unfulfilled, unrealized. But now that half-life was over. The clouds were past.

"What colors do you prefer, my lady?" the dressmaker asked as she took measurements.

Elizabeth stared at the rows of fabric — bright, shimmering, splendid. She hadn't realized how much she'd missed color until this moment. A little huff of laughter came to her lips. She didn't feel dignified. Certainly not like a countess. She felt as giddy as a girl with her first beau, simply because mourning was over and it was time to reintroduce color to her wardrobe.

"All of them," was the very sincere and very unhelpful answer she gave. Particularly because she was trying to be economical and had decided to purchase only two or three new gowns.

The dressmaker paused with a half smile. "You would look very well in light blue, I think."

Yes, she'd always worn pale blues as a debutante. She was milky-skinned and fair-haired with blue eyes — they'd suited her perfectly. The men had admired her. Charles had coveted her ... for a time. She'd been the toast of the ton.

She started to nod, to accept, but something made her stop. What had that admiration done for her? Yes, she'd married an earl — a man who'd looked at her like a prized possession until she'd proved she wasn't perfect, and then he'd barely deigned to look at her at all. The admiration of others couldn't fill a silent home, nor give ease to a troubled mind. It was time to do something for herself.

"Not blue. Perhaps —" She hesitated. "I have a fondness for red."

"Dark red?"

She shook her head. She was sick of darkness. "No, bright, like ..." She cast around in her memory for something. "Poppies."

"Poppy red," the woman muttered, turning to browse through the fabrics. "Very well."

Elizabeth left the dressmaker's shop happier and more carefree than she'd felt in a very long while. She walked right past her waiting carriage on a whim. She would walk home.

When one of her footmen noticed, he rushed after her, trying to unfold an umbrella.

"There's no need for that," she said.

He glanced at the sky, looking at the dark clouds dubiously.

"Return to Middleton House," she commanded. "I will be there shortly."

Maybe she would and maybe she wouldn't. The day seemed ripe with possibilities, and it had been a long time since she'd been caught in the rain.

Too long.

Somewhere on Piccadilly the pleasant drizzle turned into a downpour. The opening of the skies brought colder air, and she stood on the pavement shivering as rain drenched her to the bone. And yes, thinking it might have been a mistake, after all, to send the carriage away.

She ducked into the first door she saw. And collided with a very solid shape.

"Oomph."

The solid — and warm, had she mentioned warm? — shape took a step back and features that had been blurred came into view: hazel eyes — a lovely meeting of green and gold — under thick eyebrows, a long, straight nose, and firm, full lips. The lips curved into a smile. "Pardon me, miss." The voice was as deep and rich as chocolate. It reverberated around her insides like someone had just played a low note on a pipe organ.

She didn't bother to correct him. "No, it was my fault." She wasn't entirely comfortable with the amount of space he'd left between them. She took a step back. When she did, she noticed his striped waistcoat had two damp spots on it ... exactly where her breasts had pushed against his chest. "Oh!"

He followed her mortified gaze. And when he looked up, his grin took on a wickedly amused flavor.

She knew. That look told her everything she needed to know. This man was a Rake, emphasis on the capital R. She'd been in society long enough to be acquainted with them. And long enough to know they were best avoided.

"If you'll excuse me." She turned. Then stopped at the sound of his voice.

"It's still raining."

Indeed it was. She saw the torrents of it through tall sash windows, heard it pinging against the roof.

"And you're shivering."

She wrapped her arms around herself, as if she could stop shaking by sheer force of will. "I'm not."

"Liar," he said softly, with a strange tenderness, as though he'd just offered an endearment. "If you stay, I can have a pot of tea readied, and you can sit by the fire."

He was the devil, offering such temptations when chills were running up and down her spine. She should simply reach out, push open the door, and leave. And catch her death from the cold? She might be wary, but she was also practical.

She turned back. "You work in this establishment?" She glanced past him, at bookshelves that went from floor to ceiling stacked full with volumes. The air was tinged with the earthy smells of vellum and parchment, and the shop bustled with activity. Both men and women browsed the stacks or stood by the fire or spoke to the workers at the desk.

She'd been here before — Cameron's Lending Library and Booksellers. In the past few years, it had become quite popular.

"I do."

A fresh wave of shivers racked her. "Very well."

She followed him up a winding staircase with a gleaming mahogany balustrade. Without the hum of the patrons around them, the air turned still and silent. She paused. "Where are you taking me?"

"The offices." He cast a glance over his shoulder, lifting an eyebrow. "We don't serve tea in the main room with the books."

"Of course," she said, as though she'd suspected it all along, when all she'd really been suspicious of was that he was leading her somewhere private in the hope of taking liberties.

He opened the door to a study with a desk, a round table, and a sash window. The desk looked large in the small room. All that rested on it was a stack of blank parchment, a quill and inkwell, and a pair of round spectacles.

Organized, for a rake.

He pulled out a chair for her, setting it next to the fireplace. He used a poker to stir up a larger flame in the coals. "If you'll wait here, I'll return with the tea."

Elizabeth leaned as close to the fire as she could without falling in. The warm air seeped through her moist garments, causing her skin to prickle. She glanced toward the desk again. Did he actually wear those black-rimmed spectacles? She'd thought a man like him would be too vain to obscure his face.

She stiffened when she heard heavy footfalls outside the door a few minutes later. He came in carrying a silver tea tray. He set the tray on the desk a moment, then lifted the table and lowered it next to her as though it barely weighed anything before placing the tray in the middle.

Steam curled from the teapot. She didn't hesitate to pour a full cup and wrap her chilled hands around it. When she sipped, the hot liquid forged a trail of fire through her stomach. The man didn't take a seat; he remained standing, practically at her elbow.

"Thank you, Mr. ..." She trailed off, waiting for a name.

"Cameron."

Tea nearly sloshed over the rim of her cup as she started. "Cale Cameron? The owner?"

He nodded.

"You told me you worked here."

"I do work here," he pointed out with a smile.

"You know that wasn't what I —" She stopped herself. "I shouldn't be here. If you do not mind my being blunt, Mr. Cameron, I've heard of your reputation."

"My reputation?" he asked, a little too innocently. "What exactly have you heard?"

She met his amused gaze squarely. "You seduce women for fun."

He frowned, but it didn't look very sincere. "That's slander. More often, they try to seduce me."

"Mr. Cameron!"

"My apologies," he said in a demure voice. It didn't fool her for one moment. "How is the tea?"

"A little weak," she informed him coolly.

"I have brandy," he said, offering his own challenge in return.

"Mr. Cameron, it's hardly proper for me to drink brandy, especially in the presence of a man."

"That's a shame," he said. "You might enjoy it."

"I doubt that."

The corner of his mouth twitched. After a moment's pause, he asked, "Do you like to read?"

Men didn't ask her that question very often. And her mother had always advised her not to show interest in intellectual pursuits, anyway. It took her a minute to answer. "Yes, very much. I prefer poetry."

"Do you have a membership here?"

She shook her head, bemused.

"I'll give you one at no cost," he said.

She stared at him. "As kind as that is, it's not necessary."

"Why not? You'd be able to borrow any book you like."

"I already have a membership somewhere else," she lied, hoping he'd drop the matter.

His eyes narrowed, making him look rather ruthless. More like a pirate or a highwayman than a bookseller. "With whom?"

"You're quite persistent, aren't you?"

"If I wasn't, I would never have been successful."

"Yes, I can see that," she said.

"So you won't tell me?"

"Why? What will you do to the poor man?"

Instead of appearing offended, he smiled slightly. "I'll have you know I'm a very respected bookseller."

"Being respected isn't the same as being respectable."

"That's drawing a very thin line," he said with a trace of humor. "And you seem to be hinting, not so subtly, that you don't think I'm respectable."

"Not at all. I know you're not respectable."

"And yet, we've never had the pleasure of being acquainted."

"As I said, your reputation precedes you." And was clearly well earned.

"So you're willing to judge me based on rumor?"

"Yes," she said, taking another sip of tea. She wanted to smile.

"For shame. Do you want to know the truth?" he asked. One hand curled around the back of her chair in a gesture that was oddly intimate. He stood far too close to her. On one side she felt the warmth of the fire, on the other, the warmth from his body.

"The truth of what?"

"My reputation."

"I do hope you're not trying to shock me, Mr. Cameron."

"No, but I will speak honestly with you."

She cocked her head to the side. How long had it been since a man had spoken honestly with her? Never? She was intrigued, despite her better judgment. "Tell me the truth, then."

"I like women, but I doubt I've bedded more of them than the average bachelor who's exceeded the age of thirty unmarried. My mistake was in having an affair with a duchess."

Heat swept her cheeks. This wasn't supposed to shock her? "Indeed?" she said with a tongue that felt clumsy. She tried to sound coolly polite, but she wasn't sure she managed.

"She wasn't very tight-lipped about our relationship. Word spread that Cale Cameron, a bookseller of unknown origins, had dared to warm the bed of a duchess. My reputation as a horrible, or more to the point, audacious, rake was sealed."

"You don't seem terribly upset," she observed.

"It amuses me, I suppose. If I actually let myself be bothered by everything that was said of me, I would probably go mad."

"Did you love her?" The question slipped out before she could think better of it.

He didn't hesitate. "No."

"Then why did you ...? If you knew she was a duchess, why did you ...?"

He caught on to what she meant to ask, even through her floundering. "She was above me. In every possible way," he said, brutally honest.

Elizabeth was both repulsed and oddly fascinated by the way he spoke to her. But she'd asked for his honesty. She wasn't about to turn missish because he'd given it to her.

"I wanted to pluck the highest fruit from the tree."

A little huff of air escaped her lips. "Why didn't you just seduce the Queen, then?"

He grinned. "Perhaps I would have, if I'd had the chance to meet her. A little old for my taste, though."

Elizabeth nearly rolled her eyes. She didn't, obviously — it was too vulgar a gesture for a countess. "You must be rather certain of your charms," she said, with no small degree of sarcasm.

He glanced down at his chest, patted it with his hands. "Odd. I don't see any blood."

"Pardon me?"

"Your barbed words. I'm surprised they didn't tear out my heart."

This time she did roll her eyes. "You are a ridiculous man, Mr. Cameron."

"But I made you smile," he said softly.

She focused on her hand, where it lay in her lap. She wished she had a fan she could flick open to hide her stunned expression.

Good Lord.

She liked him.

She liked him.

It had been a very long time since she'd felt such an instant affinity with someone, and she couldn't recall ever having spoken so openly with another person. But the fact that she'd just come out of mourning, and the man who was making her smile was Cale Cameron, bookseller and rake, plucking the highest fruit from the tree — it all made her feel terribly vulnerable. Achingly vulnerable.

She set her teacup down with a clang and quickly rose from her chair. Her head nearly bumped into his chin. "Thank you for the tea, Mr. Cameron," she said, looking at the spots on his waistcoat that still hadn't faded, "but I fear I must leave."

"Wait," he said, stopping her with a hand at her elbow. "What is your name?"

The heat of his touch arrested her. She stood staring at his strong fingers encircling her arm, and her mouth went dry. She suddenly felt very out of her element. More like a naïve girl than a sophisticated countess. "Elizabeth," she murmured.

He pulled gently, drawing her closer. "Your full name?"

She twisted out of his grip, her heart hammering. "I really must be going." Then, with the last of her dignity in shreds, she darted away like a frightened hare.

Her pace didn't slow until she'd reached the main level of the bookshop and was in view of the other patrons. And then she collected herself, smoothed down her damp, wrinkled dress, and left the store, determined to push the charming Cale Cameron far from her thoughts.

CHAPTER 2

"Lord Thornhill is here," Elizabeth's mother, Lady Middleton, hissed in her ear, eyes narrowing at a flash of black tails on the opposite side of the crush.

The family was attending the popular Fairchild ball that evening. Lady Middleton, Elizabeth, and her two younger sisters stood near the refreshment table looking on as other guests danced a quadrille, weaving and turning under the chandeliers. The ladies' best jewels glittered in the candlelight, and the gentlemen looked elegant and understated in their dark evening attire.

Elizabeth's hands clenched in the skirt of her poppy-red dress at Thornhill's name. Not her husband, she had to remind herself through a sudden rush of numbness. But her husband's cousin, the new earl, returned from his travels.

In three years of marriage, Elizabeth hadn't succeeded in producing an heir ...or in having any children, for that matter. This man, whom she hadn't seen in what felt like a lifetime, now bore her late husband's title.

Anne, her middle sister, looked at their mother. "It took him quite long enough," she said disapprovingly.

Lady Middleton frowned at Anne. "He'll surely pay his respects to Elizabeth when he finds out she's in attendance. It's the gentlemanly thing to do."

"If you can even call him a gentleman," Anne said. "He should have come back as soon as he inherited."

Olivia's eyes brightened as she let her imagination run wild. "What if he's become a complete rake who's been scouring the world looking for women to ruin?"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Affair by Lily Maxton, Nina Bruhns. Copyright © 2014 Lily Maxton. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lily Maxton grew up in the Midwest, reading, writing, and daydreaming amidst cornfields. After graduating with a degree in English, she decided to put her natural inclinations to good use and embark on a career as a writer.

When she's not working on a new story, she likes to tour old houses, add to her tea stash, and think of reasons to avoid housework.

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The Affair 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
DebDiem 9 months ago
The Affair is my first book by Lily Maxton. This book is a fairly quick read, perfect for those with limited time for reading. I enjoyed reading Elizabeth and Cale's story. This book has lovable characters, drama, sizzle and humor. It's a well written, smooth read. The Affair held my attention from cover to cover and I look forward to reading more from Lily Maxton in the future. The Affair is book 1 of the Sisters Of Scandal Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
The Affair is a love story that borders on loneliness, desperation and need. Cale and Elizabeth despite all that was working against them, managed to connect on a level beyond social class and monetary value. Lily Maxton embroils her readers in a heartbreaking whirlwind of emotion, prejudice and romance that leaves a mark. A well thought out romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Should be a short story or novella at best...will not read this as I am tired of thinking I am purchasing a book only to find out it is so short.
2_PMVH More than 1 year ago
Lady Elizabeth Thornhill is finally a widow, away from her depression home, but has made a huge error moving back under her scheming mother's roof. Cade Cameron is many things, like an owner of Cameron's Bookstore, started publishing many authors (his newest a scandalous courtesan) & a totally rake, rogue or if prefer BAD BOY! He doesn't deny it & when the London's rain pushes the sexy Elizabeth into his bookstore, he CRAVES her surrender. Elizabeth is all things proper, but Cade tickles & teases her hidden inner NAUGHTINESS! They affair is steamy secret, a utter decadent indulgence, Elizabeth's 1st screaming orgasm & the 1st light into Cade's hidden heart, but can a Countess & bookstore owner every be together? What about the new Earl of Thornhill arrival? How will her dysfunctional family screw it up? Ms. Maxton does it again & made me HYPERVENTILATE, ROFL & scare my furry reading body with my full belly laughs. She writes with spicy scenes & hilariousness galore & I love some good steam & laughs! Elizabeth's sister, Anne & Olivia, are such characters with their own stories to tell. Anne with her unladylike wagering, Olivia head always in a gothic books & I can't wait to read Olivia's story next. Ms. Maxton has created so many "what did that Middleton's daughter say" moments with her absolutely fabulously fantastic Middleton sisters, with the "scheming for a higher title" mom & a dad who just want to read his paper in peace. There was a scandalous affair afoot, some helpful advice from the courtesan author & laughter aplenty, so Ms. Maxton gets my score of 4 fingers up & 9 toes & my only complaint was I wish it was longer! !
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
A well-written novella is like a happy sigh...and Lily Maxton's historical novella The Affair is a very, very happy sigh indeed. Other than the fact that I'd love to hear more, more, more about Elizabeth and Cale--because I absolutely adored them both--I have not a single complaint about this book. Unlike with some shorter works, I don't feel as if I need to know more about them. Their characters are well developed and sympathetic. The progression of their relationship feels realistic and not at all rushed--much is left to the imagination, due to the abbreviated format of the novella (GR says 81 pages; will Amazon ever give us Kindle page numbers?) but it's still well-fleshed out and has a timetable that feels real. There's just the right blend of sexual chemistry, foreplay, and romance--with a nice dollop of steam for flavor. Even though there's probably a million books out there featuring a young widow who finds real love for the first time with a so-called rake, this story made it seem like a fresh and new plot idea instead of a rehashed and tired one. There's a crazy amount of bookmarks in my ereader for such a short piece--here's just one of my many "I had to highlight that" scenes: His gaze met hers. “Who were you dancing with before you left the ballroom?” “The new Earl of Thornhill, my husband’s cousin.” “I see.” Her back stiffened. She turned to gaze in front of her. “I can already tell he’s much kinder than my husband. And I’m not young and foolish anymore.” “Your parents would be in favor of the match, I assume.” The careful neutrality of his voice made her feel like she was being accused of something. “Yes.” “But what do you want?” “I want to please my parents and further my sisters’ chances at good marriages,” she said. As an aristocratic daughter, her duty in life was to marry well. Useless desires didn’t signify; it was who she was. “You never wish for something different?” “Such as a bookseller?” she asked lightly. She saw his smile in the dim light. “Contrary to common perception, booksellers are rather exciting people.” “I have no doubt of it.” At least when it came to one very specific bookseller. She was sure she could walk with him until the sun crested the horizon without experiencing a second of boredom. Honestly, every time Cade and Elizabeth's banter includes a reference to his being a bookseller, my bibliophile heart did a little extra flutter. There's just something about book characters who appreciate books, isn't there? Seriously, it made me love him even more--and trust me, he's very lovable. Plus, he has Clark Kent-like glasses. Swoon! ;) I was thrilled to note that this book is the first in the Sisters of Scandal series--I'm sincerely hoping that the sisters in question are Elizabeth's younger sisters Olivia and Anne. The handful of scenes they're in in this novella are enough to convince me that their books should be just as entertaining. (The scene where the three sisters make a wager at a ball about their mother's social prowess is just too funny. I can just imagine what havoc they could each wreak with their own storyline--can't wait!) Rating: 5 stars/ A I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review...and ended up buying my own copy before I'd even finished it!
Lost-N-Love-N-Hopeless More than 1 year ago
Quickie that is Scandalous, Reckless, Desirous.  This is one historical romance that does not beat around the bush at all. With in not time Lady Elizabeth is captivated by Mr. Cale and all his wicked charms. Cale is an intriguing man that has a bad reputation.  Lady Elizabeth is the lady that is out of his reach.  She is stepping out of mourning into something completely out of her realm of reality. There is not pomp and circumstance with this romance.  This author gets right down to it.  No big chase, dastardly deed, kidnapping, or evil villain.  This progress at a quick pace and I want to get more.  More of Olivia and Anne, Lady Elizabeth's sisters.  They seem to be serious characters. Thanks, Net Galley.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Lady Thornhill is a widow from a loveless marraige. She enjoys finally being free to be herself and do as she likes. She has no intention of falling for the notorious rake, Cale Cameron, when she stumbles into his store one there is an obvious attraction. While Elizabeth is determined to not fall prey to his wicked ways - she may end up in his arms anyways. Cale has no interest in a lasting relationship, he's more of a love them and leave them type. But Elizabeth has managed to wiggle her way into a part of him he thought was dead.  While this was a very cute read, the characters just didn't have the impact I've seen in other books. The storyline is sweet - who can resist a love conquers all attitude?  *This book was received in exchange for an honest review* 
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book one in the Sisters of Scandals series. Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill, is ready to shed her widow's weeds. Walking home from replenishing her wardrobe, it starts to rain. She quickly dashes into the bookstore to get out of the rain. In the process, she literally runs into the owner. Cale Cameron, the owner of Cameron's lending library is intrigued by Elizabeth and invites her to a dinner party at his home. Elizabeth is unsure if she should go, but since her husband's death she has been looking for some adventure. Elizabeth has one of the best night's of her life and doesn't want it to end. Neither Elizabeth nor Cale can fight their attraction any longer and begin an affair. Elizabeth is sure that Cale will break her heart if she gets anymore involved with him, so she ends the affair after a week. Can their week of passion lead to a life-long commitment? I have to say that I am blown away by Lily Maxton's writing. This is her first story and it was a novella. There are long established writers that can not pull off a well written novella and Maxton did it her first time out of the gate. Cale and Elizabeth's story was sweet and passionate. Both were lonely in the lives they were leading and fate put them in the right place at the right time. Had they met any sooner, Elizabeth wouldn't have been ready to embark in an affair. Cale made a point to get to know Elizabeth when her husband had made no effort at all. This was very refreshing to Elizabeth and I think made Cale more attractive to her. Not that they were lacking in chemistry, because it practically jumped off the page. I'm so glad that I found Lily Maxton's work and I CAN NOT wait for the rest of the books in the series. Thanks go out to Entangled Publishing via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE AFFAIR by Lily Maxton is another delightfully entertaining Regency Historical Romance. A quick read, a novella of only about 68 pages, but a great read! Follow, Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill and Cale Cameron on their journey to their HEA, hopefully. For only one week, Elizabeth would be Cale's, oh, but things don't always happen as expected or as is supposed to happen. As these two learn. Passion ignites between the two and the rest as they say....is history! Well written with very entertaining and sensual characters. Very well done, Ms. Maxton. I would recommend this quick novella to any and all Historical Romance readers! You will not be disappointed! Received for an honest review. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very short (less than 68pgs) but sweet & it didn’t feel rushed or incomplete with a wonderful writing style.The rake who protects his heart falls for the proper lady (a widow) after an affair which lasts a week she calls it off knowing that she has fallen for him. In their ensuing separation, he realizes how much he misses & needs her.  I like that even though the story was short, you get a sense that their love develops through a kindred spirit, that Cale genuinely appreciates Elizabeth as an intelligent, caring woman & not just for her beauty whereas Cale speaks to Elizabeth as someone who values her opinion and who makes her smile. & of course how could one not adore a hero who owns a lending library & bookshop? Who gifts the heroine with a book after their 1st meeting? A beautiful quote at the end of the story:  I only let you go to protect myself, but staying away was far worse. These three months have been hell. I can’t,” he drew in a breath, “I can’t live without my heart.”
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
A charming and enjoyable historical romance, The Affair was a lovely novella. I really enjoyed reading this sweet book. Both Elizabeth and Cale was great characters. Elizabeth started off as a bit of a pushover, but she grew stronger and became determined to life her own life. By the end of the novella, I liked her. Cale was very sweet and adorable. I really liked him, as well. The romance was lovely. These two were sweet together and the chemistry between them was definitely hot. I thought they were a perfect couple. The plot was quick and I was hooked the entire way through. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. The Affair was a wonderful historical romance novella. It was sweet and a truly enjoyable book. Romance lovers, if you're looking for a quick, lovely story, then you'll want to read this *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
A short, quick historical romance that kept me intrigued from beginning to end with good characters, a captivating premise and juicy sex scenes.  Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill, is our heroine. She thankfully now finds herself free of her loveless marriage due to the Earl's passing. As the story opens, she has just shed her widow's weeds, gets caught in a rainstorm heading home, and ducks into a bookstore for shelter. Soaked to the bone, Cale Cameron offers her a place by the fire to stave off her chill until the storm has passed. With her life's direction controlled by both the ton and her family, she knows what she must do. Enjoying Cale's company is not on the list. Cale Cameron, owner of Cale's Lending Library, is our hero. He's a known rake and he finds himself insanely attracted to Lady Thornhill after meeting her during that storm. He's determined to get her into his bed as his mistress. Even though this is a brief read, it's a well-written, engaging romance with some twists I didn't foresee. 4 Stars!