Patricia Gaffney is a New York Times bestselling author and six-time RITA nominee for her historical romances and winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. She worked as a high school English teacher and a court reporter before pursuing a full-time career as a novelist. She lives in southern Pennsylvania with her husband.
To Have and to Hold: (Intermix)by Patricia Gaffney
To Have and to Hold
Suave, cynical, and too handsome for his own good, Sebastian Verlaine never expected to become a magistrate judging the petty crimes of his tenants and neighbors. Nor can/b>/i>/i>/i>/i>
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Saving Graces and Flight Lessons comes Book II of the Wyckerley Trilogy…
To Have and to Hold
Suave, cynical, and too handsome for his own good, Sebastian Verlaine never expected to become a magistrate judging the petty crimes of his tenants and neighbors. Nor can the new Viscount D’Aubrey foresee that, when a fallen woman appears before him, he’ll find himself beguiled against all reason to alter her terrible fate...
Rachel Wade has served time in prison for her husband’s violent death, but soon discovers that freedom has its own price. For no one will offer her a second chance but a jaded viscount who needs a housekeeper. Scorned by the townspeople of Wyckerley as D’Aubrey’s mistress, tempted beyond her will by the devilish lord, Rachel risks everything she has to claim a life of her own...and a love that will last for all time.
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I started this book expecting a lovely romance up to the amazing standards Mrs. Gaffney had set with 'Wild at Heart' and 'To Love And To Cherish'. The 'hero', Sebastian, hires Rachel as his housekeeper on a whim, thus saving her from jail or the workhouse. From that moment on, she is completely in his power, both of them knowing full well that if she leaves, or if he fires her, she'll be sent back. Sebastian shows no compunction about abusing his power in ways that, today, would have rightly sent him to jail several times over, culminating in no less than rape. This is not a case of 'forced seduction': Rachel is very clear about not wanting to have sex with Sebastian, and he is perfectly aware of that, and simply doesn't care. I would have found such scenes shocking in a romance if they involved the villain, having the 'hero' do shuch things is beyond sickening.
I loved this book almost as much as the 1st one in the series. A previous reviewer states that the actions of the "hero", Sebastian, are sickening. And, yes, for a while they are. But, that's the point. There's no redemption if there wasn't the callous, bad behavior first. Rachel and Sebastian save each other, and that's what makes it so moving.
Enjoyed this immensely -- really couldn't put it down -- it involved all the senses: mind, heart, soul, and sex. Strongly recommend it. Sort of Laurens, Beverly, Kleypas with an edge...