Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Review - Out of Her League by Ava Archer Payne
Title: Out of Her League
Author: Ava Archer Payne
Publisher: AAP Historicals
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
eBook ASIN: B008MNQXNK
Length: 135 Pages
Heat Level: Wickedly Hot
Blurb: Captain James Lancaster, formerly one of London’s most notorious rakes, returns to England a broken man after a brutal tour in the Crimea. He is wounded in body and spirit, his badly injured leg leaving him unable to walk without crutches.
Nurse Katherine Riley has spent her entire life caring for others, but lately she finds herself longing for more. On a whim she indulges in a secret cache of provocative lingerie—just a little something to make her feel beautiful beneath her drab gowns, even if no one else can see it.
When James glimpses the erotic beauty hidden beneath Kate’s prim and proper facade, he introduces her to a sensual array of forbidden delights. Healing takes on an entirely new meaning. As Kate nurses James to a full recovery, their liaison opens her eyes to an enticing new world. How will she ever return to the staid life she once knew?
Out of Her League is a delightfully wicked Victorian romance set in London near the end of the Crimean War. With well developed characters, sharp dialogue and plenty of sexual heat, Ms. Payne captured my attention from the first page. While the Victorian era is well known for it's adherence to social and sexual restraint, Ms. Payne captured the periods beginning social revolution towards a more lax attitude between the upper working classes and the nobility. She also captured the era's leanings towards romanticism.
Katherine "Kate" Riley is a young female nurse whose future seems destined to be ruled by duty and sacrifice. What began as willing labor after her mother's death has now become a chore; her brother's take her housekeeping duties and income from her employment for granted. Determined to have a little bit of fun Kate has arranged a holiday, which will cost almost nothing.
Unfortunately her brother's gambling once again forces Kate to surrender her plans and force her to agree to assist the doctor assigned to help cure Captain James Lancaster's injuries. Ms. Payne did a wonderful job with Kate's character; at the start of this story she is like a cygnet, a baby swan who hasn't developed it's wings and beauty, but by the end of the story she is a fully developed swan ready for flight. Her sexual awakening is quite magnificent.
Captain James Lancaster is also the perfect hero for Kate's heroine. A hero home from the Crimean War, he's bitter and somewhat angry about the direction his life has taken at the beginning of this story. The rich son of a nobleman; he's unused to dealing with injury and the limitations it has placed on his body. Fortunately for him, he has the means to obtain the best medical care in an era when medical science was beginning to make some huge strides in patient care. Obtaining a private doctor and nurse is no problem for him. Falling in lust with his nurse is a grand diversion; he just didn't plan to fall in love with her too.
Ms. Payne did an excellent job developing both the romantic and sexual relationship between Kate and James. They are the prefect match for each other in temperament, desire and willingness to go outside the social norms. While they both realize their relationship brings risks; both are willing to take the chance and unknowingly they both fall in love.
When James injuries are healed, will he figure out a way to keep his private nurse? Will Kate fully awaken to her worth and deal with her brothers? You need to read Out of Her League to find out. I really enjoyed it and I think you will too.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars