The Viscount in Her Bedroom was my first book by Gayle Callen and, after flipping through the book to get an idea of what it was about, I was hesitant about starting. But after a slow beginning, I was intrigued enough and, though I had issues with the book, it is unique in plot and the hero and heroine are not standard fare.
When Louisa Shelby’s family hit hard times, she became a lady’s companion. Unbeknownst to her, rumors from her Season follow her and force her to end her employment. While visiting her sister, she learns of another opportunity and her new employer is none other than the grandmother of Simon, Lord Wade, who at one time was a favorite of the ton. Lady Wade employs Louisa to be her companion and to guide her granddaughter through a second Season following her disastrous first. Because of the rumors surrounding Louisa, whom he knew during her come-out, Simon is skeptical about her influence on his sister.
Simon must also cope with being newly blind as a result of a horrific riding accident. The former life of the party now finds himself in seclusion at his grandmother’s estate trying to adjust to his new life. He is managing, but his grandmother wants more for him. As the interaction between Simon’s sister and Louisa grows, so does the interaction and the attraction between Simon and Louisa.
For Louisa, the attraction she feels for Simon is immediate, with her fascination from years earlier only continuing. She admires his strength and courage and finds herself constantly seeking him out. Simon, on the other hand, tries to deny his attraction to Louisa because he ultimately believes that she deserves better than what he can give her. She, of course, wants to prove him wrong.
Callen creates strong and unique characters with both Louisa and Simon. Louisa encourages Simon and goes out of her way to help make his life easier. Simon gives in to very little self-pity or resentment, yet he is determined not to marry.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with Callen’s book, but its slow start – it took a good fifty pages to engage my interest – and a resolution that came all too quickly, with all the issues resolved in one fell swoop, were troublesome. And while there was sexual tension, very little romance existed between Simon and Louisa. Then too, timeline issues pulled me out of the narrative flow as well.
If you are looking for excitement, drama, or an emotional roller-coaster, then The Viscount in Her Bedroom is not for you. As for me, there was just enough good in the story that I will probably pick up another Callen’s books. Something I appreciated was that Simon learned it was okay for him to ask for help…now, if I could just get my husband to understand that concept.
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