I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Longing by Wendy Lindstrom
Series: Grayson Brothers #2
Narrator: Julia Motyka
Published by Rustic Studio Publishing on January 1, 2012
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 8 hours, 40 minutes
A marriage of convenience…and intoxicating desire. He would show her every shade of love.
The last thing sawmill owner Kyle Grayson wants is a marriage of convenience, but a stroke of rotten luck leads him straight to the altar with his competitor’s daughter, Amelia. Burdened by guilt over his part in her father’s death and an intoxicating desire for his new wife, Kyle doesn’t think things can get worse—until his beautiful bride refuses to consummate their vows. Amelia’s struggle to hide her emotional wounds brings out the protector in Kyle, drawing them into a spirited romance neither anticipates. As they unravel a mystery at the mill and their own conflicted feelings, unexpected secrets threaten to shatter their fragile marriage. But Kyle is determined to fan the flames of their fiery attraction and show his reluctant bride every facet of their undeniable passion—and his love.
The set up
Kyle Grayson, fresh from being spurned by his fiancée for his older brother, goes to visit Tom Drake, his friend and competitor. Tom has dragged his feet in repaying his debt to him and Kyle thinks he might be purposely trying to ruin him. He confronts Tom who gets so upset that he has a coronary…literally. With his dying breath, he asks Kyle to take care of his wife and his daughter, Amelia. Amelia is a teacher, resigned to being a spinster because of a moment of passion with someone she thought loved her but moved on.
Kyle looks to make certain Tom’s family is taken care of financially but finds a mountain of debt. Though he has no interest in marrying Amelia, circumstances arise that force him to do just that. Both are keeping secrets (her loss of virginity, his role in her father’s death) that create additional wedges in this marriage of convenience.
What I enjoyed
Kyle’s a little bit broken and Amelia’s heartbroken and yet these two try really hard to make the best of their circumstances. She really wants to create a home and embraces his family. He knows she’s been hurt and agrees to take his time getting to know her before sleeping with her. Even though they’re keeping secrets, I admired their attitudes, even for that era. They’re romance developed slowly and I felt like I was a part of it. It was lovely but not without issues.
There was a bit of intrigue and suspense, too, involving Amelia’s father’s business issues. I liked how it was seamlessly woven into the romance and the story.
The narrator is starting to grow on me, even though I still wish the pace could be a little faster. She has a really good pitch for the characters and doesn’t overwhelm the story.
The bottom line
I’m enjoying this series and I really liked this story. The evolution of Kyle and Amelia’s relationship from friends to lovers was very nicely told, especially after him having been dumped in the last book. The Grayson Brothers… diamonds in the rough, especially the audiobook experience.
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