Angelica is a born aristocrat but is not living in the lap of luxury. Instead she is in hiding, living as a commoner under an assumed name in a convent. She’s hiding from her step-father and plans to never return to her former life. She’s made a life for herself at the convent and enjoys her work teaching orphaned children.
Simon is a commoner who has big dreams of becoming an aristocrat and an officer in the Kings Navy. He has amassed a fortune as a privateer, but mostly for The Superintendent of Finance. He’s worked hard but begins to question his life’s work after the death of a dear friend. He feels he’s sending good men to die and it’s beginning to wear on his conscience.
Angelica slips out one night to help a local villager and runs into Simon. He is quite taken with this beauty that has literally run him over, so much so that he tracks her back to the convent where he witnesses her being severely disciplined for sneaking out. Appalled by her treatment, he decides to rescue her and ends up taking her good friend Gabrielle as well. He takes the women to his ships bound for France, the very place Angelica vowed never to return to.
I’ve read all the books in the Firery Tales series by Lila DiPasqua so I know she writes very sexy historicals. I’ve looked forward to yet another steamy retelling of a classic fairy tale, this time a retelling of Rapunzel.
The beginning of the book started out a little slow for me and I got a bit restless. I get impatient with slow starts, but having read and liked the previous books in the series, I kept going, knowing these books tend to draw me in with their heat and eventually the romance. While it took a little longer for me to sink my teeth into this one, I eventually was taken in by the story.
I’m a sucker for an alpha male who likes to get naughty with his heroine. Simon certainly did not let me down in this department. He’s very alpha and thinks about sex a lot to the point of distraction. He’s just…a horny hero, no two ways about it. He actually made me laugh several times because of his preoccupation with his straining erection but in a very good way. There is much to love about Simon; he has a heart and is tender and compassionate. However he’s also very high-handed when it comes to Angelica and is determined to find out her true identity no matter how much she protests. He’s very pushy about this and while Angelica has very good reason to conceal her identity I have to think anyone would become even more determined with that kind of pressure.
Being an aristocrat I assumed Angelica might be a high maintenance heroine. But she turned out to be rather earthy and very likable. There are a few twists in the story where she is concerned (I don’t want to spoil) and I have to say she had my sympathy more than once. This story deals with some heavier issues than previous books, and although it doesn’t go deep, I really felt for the heroine.
The chemistry between Angelica and Simon is pretty hot and as always the intimate scenes are very well written and sexy. This is one of those books where I enjoyed the build up to the first intimate maybe even more than the actual scene. I thought at one point Simon might have cooled the romance for me when he had a little melt down over Angelica’s virginal status. I was more than a little annoyed with him and really didn’t understand his stance on the issue.
To sum up: I struggled with the first third of the book as it was slow to grab my attention and draw me in. Eventually the romance took me away and I really liked the unexpected twists near the end as well as the emotional turn of events.