Review: “Innocence” by Elise De Sallier (A Forbidden Love #1)

Title: Innocence
A Forbidden Love #1
Author: Elise De Sallier
Language: English
Courtesy of The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Genre: NA, Romance, Historical Fiction, Regency.

Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but in Anneliese Barlow’s experience, it leads to unwise 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. Discovering the life of gentility she had known was a virtual fairytale, reality a dark and forbidding place, she faces danger at every turn.

Captivated by the beautiful maid, Nathaniel, the Marquis of Marsden and the duke’s heir, decides the only way to keep Lisa safe is by offering her his protection. With all hopes of returning to her previous station lost, she surrenders her virtue to the man she has come to love. Finding unexpected passion in Nathaniel’s arms, her senses are awakened to a world of sensuality she’d not known existed … a world not without grave risks.

If her identity is uncovered, Lisa’s innocence won’t be the only thing that’s lost.

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I have often spoken of this novel on the blog (here and also here) and I forgot to review it after I returned from London. Fortunately I jot down two thousand notes about every book I read!
“Innocence” by Elise De Sallier is part of a series of two books along with “Protection”, its sequel released in May of this year. I want to specify it because when I read it, this was not very clear and some of my “disappointment” regarding the book is due to this (but I’ll try to explain it later). I also discovered that it is published by the original publishing house’s of “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, which I thank for giving me a review copy.

Anneliese Miss Barlow, the only daughter of Sir George, is forced to flee when his distant cousin, the heir to the estate, Lord Richard Copeland, in a series of threats to bring her to the altar shoot her father, leaving him almost dying. The young lady, upset by the actions and by plans of his pursuer (who also says he wants to share her with other men), began traveling in the direction of Worthington Hall, bringing the pearls of her mother that have to show only to the Duke of Worthington, a friend of his father. Once arrived there, however, she discovers that the Duke was married and was now on his honeymoon, while Worthington Hall is currently entrusted to the care of his son, the handsome Marquis Nathaniel Lord Marsden.
Skillfully Anneliese manages to get hired pretending to be a “commoner”, Lisa Brown, but soon her beauty will attract the attentions of the Marquis of Marsden and among them will be born an agreement that will put at risk the reputation of the young lady.

I am a passionate reader of historical novels, and this book certainly has a great background, outlining perfectly all the details that allow the reader to feel the era lived by the protagonists. I loved the atmosphere a la “Downton Abbey”, watching the palace life of Anneliese/Lisa and that of Nathaniel. Of course, the era was completely different, but the feeling of having a small portrait of how life must have been then there is all. Perhaps remains marginal the situation of the lower classes, but this book is centered on the love story and, so, it makes perfect sense.

The protagonists are undoubtedly well defined, although my preference goes certainly to the fascinating and enigmatic Nathaniel, while Lisa often made ​​me want to slap her. Her decision to become a commoner rather than reveal her identity to Nathaniel is controversial in my eyes. In her ‘extreme’ attempt to save her virtue would have been a better step reveal everything rather than what she will get to later, but perhaps the fear and being so young have played a decisive role in her choice. I have often found it difficult to share her actions, though quite in line with the character and the era in which she lived.

I must admit that I have read a few reviews to understand the idea that the others were made on her behalf, if it was just my impression, but instead, I found many criticisms of her ignorance about the relationship between man and woman, which I think was perfectly justifiable for the time and the class of the girl.
The relationship between the two will be intense and dotted with numerous hot scenes (it is a New Adult, for that matter!), but always hovering between lies and truth, between desire and duty. They will be challenged, and then have to choose how to act in a slew of surprises and events that lead to a shocking ending.

I must say that the ending initially was to me disappointed, especially for the fact that, believing it was a stand-alone, did not have a closure. Soon after I learned of the series, but it was too late to recover from that ugly disappointment after reading. Of course, even the plot left me confused and perhaps not too convinced, so for this reason I was quite undecided about how to vote this novel. I decided to trust my feelings, while I was reading, and the fact that I wasn’t been literally able to tear myself away from the book (and I was on holiday in London!).
“Innocence” by Elise De Sallier is a really well written novel with an overwhelming love story and a very credible historical background. I recommend it to readers with a medium-high level of English (I also had difficulty reading because of its lexicon) and a passion for regency love stories.

Rating:

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In italiano

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