Book Review

‘Return of the Viscount’ by Gayle Callen

ROTV GCSTORY: Her marriage of convenience seems far too convenient . . .

Desperation drove Cecilia Mallory to seek a union with a stranger—one who would wed her sight unseen and grant her full access to her inheritance with no expectations whatsoever. She anticipated, perhaps, an older, undesirable, equally desperate husband—never the young, vibrant, and devastatingly attractive man who answered her call. What could such a man really be after?

Unknown to Cecilia, Viscount Michael Blackthorne, a soldier and gentleman, owes a debt of honor to Lady Cecilia’s father, and granting her unusual request to wed seemed a worthy way to repay it. But an unseen threat perilously close at hand is convincing Michael that his true responsibility is to protect the beautiful, warm-hearted lady he has married . . . the woman he is unexpectedly coming to love.

REVIEW: As book blurbs go, the above one is just perfect in setting up this story of redemption, respect and love.

Ms. Callen gave a wonderful characterization of two very strong people who knew what they wanted out of life very early on in their lives. Both had carried much of the baggage passed on to them from their respective parents and were determined never to repeat the mistakes their parents made, and in doing so made sure to stay away from situations that would have them marry.

At eighteen, Lord Michael Blackthorne enlisted in the army and was shipped out to India because his father had insisted he marry for the wrong reasons. Going against the wishes of the man he had no respect for, young Michael vowed to advance himself not by purchasing his commission but by hard work and sheer determination to prove to his family that he is a man of honor. While there he meets our heroine’s father who takes him under his wing and teaches him to become that man.

Cecilia Mallory had a good childhood even though it was visited with some tragedy that had profoundly altered the course of her life. As a very impressionable girl, she was forced by her mother to do some things that made her uncomfortable and in some way that contributed to her decision not to marry, even though as she grows into a woman, her beauty and dowry are very much sought after. After the death of her father in India, she decides to reach out to her father’s protégé and friend, Lieutenant Michael Blackthorne in hopes that he would be able to ease the pain of her loss.

As the two become ‘pan-palls’ if you will, they come to respect and understand each other well enough for Cecilia to feel comfortable in proposing to Michael a marriage by proxy and in name only for the reasons of obtaining her financial freedom from her guardian. Michael knows in his heart that he owes a debt to her father and he agrees to her proposal out of that duty. Neither is aware of Lady Destiny’s plan for them both.

This was such an easy read and I credit that to a very interesting plot, involving some mystery of who is willing to risk everything by ending Cecilia’s life. The mark of a good plot is when the reader decides she [that’s me] knows who the villain is, than second guesses it through the end of the story.

Then there are some secondary characters, such as heroine’s brother Oliver and friend Penelope that made me want to shake them all into tomorrow!  

If you’re Gayle Callen fan, this is no brainer  and you’ll no doubt get this book, [believe it or not, this is one author that now I have every book she’s written, but have yet to read some of her earlier series] which by the way is the first in her new trilogy, The Brides Redemption which is about “What happens when three soldiers who need to be redeemed meet three women who need to marry?” I’m looking forward to reading the second book Surrender to The Earlwhich will be out in June 2013. If you’ve never read this author, I’d say you’re missing on some well written, well thought out and well plotted stories which accompanied with a bit of action,  witty dialogue and great characterization, make up for wonderful and easy read.

*Book provided by AVON through EDELWEISS.


16 thoughts on “‘Return of the Viscount’ by Gayle Callen”

  1. This sounds like another great Gayle Callen fan. You’re right in that readers familiar with her novels will be ready to read the next ones as they come out. Count me in! 🙂

  2. I’ve read some of her earlier work, The Darkest Knight, A Knight’s Vow, and My Lady’s Guardian and they are on my keeper shelves. She’s an author that I read when I started reading then when I went for a few years of not reading I never got caught back up on her work. I definitely need to do that as I love her writing!

  3. Hi Melanie –

    I loved your review of Gayle’s latest book. I didn’t realize it had been released and was trilled that Return of the Viscount was the beginning of a new trilogy, The Brides Redemption,

    Gayle always does such a wonderful job on her secondary characters that you always hope they either get their own stories or at least “return” in the following books of the trilogies that she writes so well.

    I hope you realize that by featuring Return of the Viscount today you’ve made me change my mind of what books I’ll be reading next! I’m now going to have to pick up a copy soon because now I can’t wait to find out two people who have never met before end up being perfect for each other!

    1. GIRL!

      Are you staying warm?! It’s freak’en freezing here in Chicago!!!

      Have you read the other in this series? I loved this series ;D

      You have to come back and tell me how you liked this one!

      Stay warm, hear?!

      1. Melanie –

        It was 2 degrees when I got up this morning! I keep reminding my husband when he got out of the Navy in 1971 I suggested we move to Arizona where I had gone to college but oh no, we had to move to New England! Way to go Doug!

        We’ve had the fireplace and wood stove going 48 hours a day! Guess it’s a good thing that hurricane Sandy took out those two huge oak trees after all!0 And yes you can burn green wood when you’ve had the fires going full strength for days on end and the goals are about a foot deep! What’s hard is to get the car to start when you don’t have a garage to store it in at night!

        Know anyone you and I could go visit that lives somewhere warm? Maybe Kieran would invite to visit her in South Carolina! Anyone else you know that lives somewhere where it’s actually above 40?

      2. LOL!

        I’m cracking myself up, reading your reply!!!

        I feel lucky here at 21 right now! I have family in Florida! Maybe I should head out there!

  4. Oh, I have this one out from the library! Thanks for the review & incentive to read this! Love the cover art, too!

    1. Be. Still. My. Heart.
      Gayle Callen, you are awesome! To read your work is pure pleasure! Thanks for stopping by…*swooning*

  5. I have never read a book by this author, had not even heard of her actually. So glad you reviewed this book so I could! It sounds wonderful, I could go for a take of redemption and love.

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