Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blog Tour-Review, Excerpt and Giveaway: The Awakening of Ivy Leavold by Sierra Simone

Title:   The Awakening of Ivy Leavold (Markham Hall Series Book #1)
Author:   Sierra Simone
Genre:   Historical Romance
Release Day:  January 12, 2015

Yorkshire, 1879
I am alone.
When Ivy Leavold is left destitute by her brother’s death, she is taken in by her cousin’s brooding, tortured widower--Julian Markham.  Handsome and possessive, it’s not long before Ivy falls for him.  But Mr. Markham has dark secrets, secrets that may put Ivy in danger...
I am afraid.
As Ivy unravels the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death, she falls deeper and deeper in love with Julian, who opens her body and her mind to his indomitable will.  But even as he draws pleasure and desire from her night after night, Ivy can’t shake the feeling that their passionate affair may end in violence…

And I am completely his.

I placed my hand in his, and he pulled me close, his lips brushing against my ear.  “Do you trust me?”

Any well-brought up woman would say no.  But I wasn’t well-brought up, hadn’t been anything remotely like that since my parents died.  “Yes,” I whispered.


His hands slid down over my shoulders to my waist, and he dropped a kiss on my lips.  I tilted my face toward him, wanting more, but he moved around behind me, and I felt his fingers dance down my neck, down to the hollow between my shoulder blades where the buttons to my dress began.  One by one, the buttons tugged and loosened, freeing me incrementally.  

The dress slid down my body, the silk whispering against my petticoats and my corset.  “A woman’s first time should be entirely about her,” he said in a low voice.  “I promise to do my best, but you test every limit of my self-control.”  

Oh, how I hoped that was true.  I knew I should expect gentleness, but that wasn’t ever what I had responded to from Julian.  Seeing him at the edge of his restraint, his eyes half-lidded as he barely resisted his own darkest urges, knowing it was me who made him that way, it made me just as wild.  I craved that, that simultaneous feeling of power and lack of power.

“Don’t be too gentle,” I murmured. 

“With you, wildcat, I don’t think there’s any real risk of that.”

My petticoats fell away, and he laid them carefully over a chair.  Then came my corset, my breasts feeling heavy and full without its support.  

When I was entirely naked, he stood before me, his eyes taking in every dip and curve of my body.  I felt his eyes like his fingers, as if he were marking with his gaze all of the places he wanted to kiss.  And I saw clearly the outline of his desire, his erection large and hard in his breeches.  His eyes kept lingering on my breasts, on the place between my legs.

“You were made for f*cking,” he said roughly.

I looked at his green eyes, the way his body exuded power and wealth and lust and raw animal need.

“I was made for you,” I answered.

My Review:

I'll make this easy for you-I LOVED it!  I usually only read historical romances upon request since most that I've read have female lead characters who are not strong or independent, mostly due to the time period in which the story is set.  With Ivy though, thanks to her upbringing she is the epitome of the independent woman which we see throughout the story from the moment she arrives at Markham Hall.

I found this story to be character-driven and totally engrossing...not to mention hot, steamy and in some places downright naughty (and yes, that's a VERY good thing).  Julian Markham's character...mmm, yes please.  Worldly, brooding and supremely alpha-and even so, Ivy can give him a run for his money in terms of strength, independence and attitude.  The two of them together make for lots of sexual tension, then lots of steam...and finally an ending that will have you demanding the next book right now.

I do admit, the scene with Julian's group of friends that come to stay at Markham Hall right before they leave was a little outside of my comfort zone, but other than that I was captivated by the story and characters, and can't wait to see what comes next...5 stars!

About the author:   

Sierra Simone is a librarian who writes unabashedly sexy books with brains, beauty and big words.  She lives with her hot cop husband and family in Kansas City.

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