In this story of discovery, exploration, & love, I found myself on an adventure with the eldest of the Christie siblings, Alexander, as he searched for a way to protect his feeble infant son, Edmund. The only means of keeping him away from the evil father-in-law looking to steal custody was to complete a challenge set upon him by his own recently departed father in his will. His task was to manage one of his father’s holdings, Christie Textiles in Glasgow, Scotland & if after two years of doing so, he turned a profit then he would be rewarded with *in my Dr. Evil voice* one million dollars. Just the right price to convince a crooked judge that Edmund would be better off with his father.
What he didn’t count on, however, was the spirited Polly Gowan – daughter of a famous labor union rebel, Graham Gowan. Polly earnestly follows in her father’s footsteps & feels passionately loyal to her fellow mill workers, or “her people” as she calls them. Alex sees her as his key to understanding the union, and she views him as her key to keeping anyone from her union in trouble for an explosive fire at the mill as well as a way to find out who did it (hopefully before he does).
Polly & Alex had a passionate fire between them from the moment they first kissed, however as sizzling as the love scenes were, the vocab was a little awkward which didn’t make them flow as well as they should’ve. In the end, it didn’t matter too much because the build up was well worth the wait, especially for the studly Alex Christie (who never lacked in provocative descriptions)
“Energy shimmered off of him, all around him. Or maybe that was just the steam of hot skin meeting cold air. He looked like a pagan god of war descended to earth for a contest among mere mortals. He scrubbed one hand almost lazily through the swath of hair spread over his sculpted chest, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to stroke such primal masculinity. Polly flexed her own fingers. She wanted another opportunity to touch and explore, this time finding her way to that virile torso. What would his body feel like beneath her palms? Against her cheek? Beneath her tongue?”As the hero, Alex was more than just a sexy lay, he had some real growing to do in this story - I loved how the mill became more than just a means to keep his father in law from his son; it became something that he can take pride in, something he could make his. I enjoyed watching him learn about Glasgow & his employees at the mill, seeing them as real people the more he got to know them. He grew into something his father would be proud of, making he letter at the end that much more poignant.
This tale of loyalty, perseverance, & love not only had an intriguing twist but left me with a smile on my face. I look forward to going back & reading Viv’s story, Alex’s sister, to get to know this compelling family even better.
*ARC provided by author for review
Starlightby Carrie LoftyRelease Date: June 26, 2012Publisher: Pocket Books