Title: Written in Stone
Author: Viviane Brentanos
Publisher: MuseitHot Publishing
Publication Date: February 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance Erotica
Rating: 5/5 Martinis
Heat Level: Chocolate Martini
Other: M/M love scenes and references, some strong language
Dumped five days before her wedding, Cassandra Hall decides not to waste the honeymoon. She sets off to London. What was supposed to be her dream week turns into a nightmare time of introspect, self-doubt. Then she meets James, literally falling at his feet in an attempt to save his Afghan hound from colliding head on with the traffic.
James is witty, charming, too good-looking and also--not available. Despite this, Cassie is captivated by him. What follows is a week of fun, companionship and a bonding that Cassie has never experienced.
James, sensing Cassie’s unhappiness, goes out of his way to make up for her jerk of a fiancé’s rejection. He is drawn to her vulnerability--something he finds disturbing, threatening to shatter all he thought he knew about himself. Cassie, he senses, is falling in love with him. He ought to back away but cannot. Cassie bravely makes her true feelings known and when he rejects her, he knows he has broken her heart. He is left confused, guilty because....James has a secret.
With a sharp and witty sense of humor (there were plenty of times I laughed out loud while reading the exchanges between characters), Ms. Brentanos tells the story of James and Cassandra—two loveable and well-matched protagonists. I have to admit, when it comes to romance, I’m a skeptic, but Brentanos won me over with her affable, fluid writing style and British charm. I told myself I wouldn’t get attached, but the attachment to Cassie and James snuck in with James Bond-like seduction, stole the secret to my heart, and used it against me. Oh yeah—they’re loveable, so much so that at times, I found my heart pounding in my chest and tears rolling down my cheeks.
Whereas Harlequin has taught us that secrets in relationships usually revolve around babies and past mistakes, Ms. Brentanos has painted a secret that is both unpredictable and truly problematic for our hero and heroine. Without saying too much…it was a doozy, but all the characters involved, played their parts with the precision and psychological range of a Shakespearean actor. The characters were three dimensional and as close to living as ink on an e-reader could be.
To sum it up: Brentanos has written a romance that is accessible and enjoyable for even the romance skeptic. This is definitely a must read.
*Book provided by author for review