A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, March 7, 2016

Forbidden Nights With The Viscount by Julia Justiss

After suffering the loss of her beloved husband, quick-witted Lady Margaret Roberts has sworn off the pursuit of passion…that is, until she meets Giles Hadley.

Bitterly estranged from his family, reluctant viscount Giles knows all too well the devastation of an unhappy marriage. So while he is prepared to indulge in an illicit affair, he must beware, for spirited Maggie awakens in him something even more forbidden—the desire to claim her as his wife!


Forbidden Nights with the ViscountForbidden Nights with the Viscount by Julia Justiss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forbidden Nights with the Viscount by Julia Justiss is a 2016 Harlequin Historical publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The topic of this book comes at a timely fashion, since many of us have politics in our minds at the moment. In this case, the author explores the notorious opposition between the Tories and the Whigs.

The intelligent and beautiful Lady Margaret supports her father’s Tory party and her hosting duties have not gone unnoticed. She enjoys her role, which keeps her busy and her mind off the tragic loss of her husband. She has no intention of remarrying, but feels restless. The chance meeting with a political rival, Giles Hadley, awakens Margaret’s senses, which have lain dormant for far too long.

Giles is a Viscount, who will eventually inherit his father’s title, but, doesn’t believe marriage is for him due to the immense scandal surrounding his parent’s marriage, which was very sad. However, when the Lady Margaret suggests they enter into a liaison, Giles finds himself rethinking his position on that subject.

However, Giles’ half-brother is more suited to Lady Margaret due to their like-minded political stance, and he is aggressively pursuing her. Can Giles win the lady’s heart despite their differences? Can he convince her their torrid affair has deeper possibilities?

This story starts off on a slightly humorous and charming note, with the sudden and unexpected introduction Giles and Margaret have to one another, and the instant sparks that fly between them. I loved Margaret’s attitude and her refusal to obey certain protocol when it came to entering into a dalliance with Giles. She knew what she wanted and she pursued it, while most ladies in this time period would never have even entertained such a thought. Although, Margaret is a delightful and gregarious character, in the beginning she has an aura of sadness surrounding her. However, Giles will soon have her feeling the strength to heal and will give her a reason to want to move forward at long last.

Giles’ story was very sad, indeed, and I was happy to see him finally receive the validation he deserves. It was so fun watching him react to Margaret and seeing him fall completely under her spell. He never knew what hit him.

Often times I find that in the beginning of a book, I struggle with one or sometimes both the protagonist, but in this case, I loved them both immediately and only grew to like them more as the story progressed. However, this story has a bit of a bite to it, with a romantic suspense element tossed into the mix. I found myself holding my breath as things got a little intense a time or two.

I don’t know if it was just me, but I think this story is just a little saucier that some I’ve read from this author, but I thought it worked in this case because we aren’t dealing with an innocent virgin, but with two consenting adults who agree to a ‘no strings attached’ arrangement. However, the tension does build a little at a time, tantalizing and teasing the reader.

Overall, this an easy read, moving at a steady pace, with a few heart pounding moments, and a healing and heartwarming family side story, and of course the unlikely romance between two people with opposing views who wind up falling in love, giving us a sweet and spicy romance that will leave you smiling at the end.






Julia Justiss grew up breathing the scent of sea air near the colonial town of Annapolis, Maryland, a fact responsible for two of her life-long passions: sailors and history! By age twelve she was a junior tour guide for Historic Annapolis, conducting visitors on walking tours through the city that was a hotbed of revolutionary fervor. (Annapolis hosted its own tea party, dispensing with the cargo aboard the "Peggy Stewart," and was briefly capital of the United States.) She also took tourists through Annapolis's other big attraction, the United States Naval Academy. After so many years of observing future naval officers at P-rade and chapel, it seemed almost inevitable that she eventually married one.

But long before embarking on romantic adventures of her own, she read about them, transporting herself to such favorite venues as ancient Egypt, World War II submarine patrols, the Old South and, of course, Regency England. Soon she was keeping notebooks for jotting down story ideas. From plotting adventures for her first favorite heroine Nancy Drew she went on to write poetry in high school and college, then worked as a business journalist doing speeches, sales promotion material and newsletter articles. After her marriage to a naval lieutenant took her overseas, she wrote the newsletter for the American Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia and traveled extensively throughout Europe. Before leaving Tunis, she fulfilled her first goal: completing a Regency novel.

Children intervened, and not until her husband left the Navy to return to his Texas homeland did she sit down to pen a second novel. The reply to her fan mail letter to a Regency author led her to Romance Writers of America. From the very first meeting, she knew she'd found a home among fellow writers--doubtless the largest group of people outside a mental institution who talk back to the voices in their heads.

Her second goal was achieved the day before her birthday in May, 1998 when Margaret Marbury of Harlequin Historicals offered to buy that second book, the Golden-Heart-Award winning novel that became THE WEDDING GAMBLE. Since then, she has gone on to write fourteen novels, three novellas and an on-line serial, along the way winning or finalling for historical awards from The Golden Quill, the National Reader’s Choice, Romantic Times, and All About Romance’s Favorite Book of the Year.

Julia now inhabits an English Georgian-style house she and her husband built in the East Texas countryside where, if she closes her eyes and ignores the summer thermometer, she can almost imagine she inhabits the landscape of "Pride and Prejudice." In between travelling to visit her three children (a naval officer son stationed in Washington, DC, a textiles and design major daughter who cheers for University of Texas at Austin, and a mechanical engineering major son also at UT Austin) keeping up with her science teacher husband and juggling a part-time day job as a high school French teacher, she pursues her first and dearest love--crafting stories.

To relax, she enjoys watching movies, reading (historical fiction, mystery, suspense) and puttering about in the garden trying to kill off more weeds than flowers.

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