Saturday, September 11, 2010

Romance Book Review: Sweet Charity

Author: Belle Sloane
ISBN: 9781603105392
Genre: American Historical/ Erotic Romance

Publisher: Red Sage    
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sweet Charity gives readers a taste of American History in the West Charity is a story about introducing a young woman into the world of sensual pleasure. Wanting to be a good wife, Charity confides in a doctor her soon to be husband has arranged her to visit. With the doctors help she learns to explore her sexuality and in the process falls in love with him.

Charming story featuring a lot of sensual exploration and erotic situations.

Albuquerque, New Mexico Territory 1910

Ever since Charity Blythe lost her parents a year ago, her grief has thrown her life into turmoil.  She had been talked into an arranged marriage to Edwin Payne, the adopted son of her aunt and guardian, Berthe.  Berthe controls her inheritance.

The story opens with Charity once again unable to please her betrothed Edwin in the bedroom.  All the blame rests on her, and none on her self absorbed betrothed.

He sends her to a doctor to help her discover her problem, the incomparable Dillon Ramsey, MD, who learns instantly that Charity is definitely not the problem.  Part of the examination and “treatment” is showing her how to pleasure herself, thus opening the door to Charity’s sensual awakening.

He also realizes that Miss Blythe has gotten under his skin, because after she leaves his office, he can’t stop thinking about her.  A woman like Charity might even cause him to end his self imposed exile from the possibility of true love.

The consummate bachelor front is just a cover-up.  He’s avoided commitment since ex-fiancée Lucy, left him at the alter two years prior.

Charity and Dillon’s paths cross again soon thereafter when she takes a spill from her horse when riding out on the bosque.  He brings her back to his practice to see to her injury, but sees to a lot more than her sprained ankle, and they become intimately closer.

After he has touched her, Dillon becomes possessive, and questions her about her betrothal.  Why has it taken place at all, as her and Edwin’s association appears loveless and strained.  Charity explains the inheritance conundrum, and her aunt’s control.

In spite of him not wanting to get involved, he goes to her lawyer to try to get information so he can help her.  He arrives at the lawyer’s office just as Charity is leaving.  She has learned that there is no marriage clause in the will.  When he confesses why he’s there, she becomes angry, not sure who to trust, and turns her back on him because she sees him as just another person trying to run her life.

Charity also learned that she has a comfortable stipend to live on until the rest of her assets come through at the end of the year.  Armed with knowledge, money and reemerging confidence, she confronts Berthe and Edwin and demands they leave her home immediately.

Alone in her big house, Charity has a lot of time to think about Dillon.  While she is still mad at him, she lapses into a fantasy about them being together.  After some contemplation and self stimulation, she admits to herself that she cares for him.  

In an attempt to get Charity out of his mind, the next day Dillon goes hunting up into the foothills.  On the way back home he is surprised by a black bear, and has the opportunity for one kill shot to save himself.

In that moment he is struck by the notion that life is tenuous and you my have only “one shot” at true happiness.  He shoots the bear in the eye, killing it, and races back to Charity.  He has to tell her of his feelings and apologize for his attempted interference.  When he arrives at her house, he’s finds Edwin there.  The man is bullying her about breaking their engagement.

Edwin is no match for Charity and Dillon standing in solidarity, so he leaves.  Charity and Dillon enjoy dinner together.  When finished with their meal Charity takes him upstairs and gives him a bath, after which he takes her to bed, and together they bid farewell to her virginity.

When Dillon leaves for work, Charity engages in a happy female pursuit she’s neglected for a long time, she goes shopping.  After helping herself to some new clothes with her newly discovered money, she goes home to discover her housekeeper and groomsman engaged in congress right on her living room sofa.  She enjoys watching for a bit, then goes upstairs to her room.  Her housekeeper Cecilia knocks and enters the room as Charity as she is emerging from the bath.  Cecilia helps her dry off and then helps her understand more about her body, as she and Charity explore each other.

Not able to stay away from Charity, Dillon returns while this is going on, and joins the women.  Both he and Cecilia work together to bring Charity to orgasm.  Cecilia leaves, and Dillon needs to know what the experience meant to Charity.  She tells him it was wonderful in its pleasure, but that it won’t happen again because she realizes she in love with him. 

They make plans for an assignation four days hence, a ride and picnic down by the Rio Grande River.

They become closer and closer through time spent together, and their physical interactions.  They declare their love and decide to marry.  They also decide not to have sex again until after the wedding.

Dillon leaves after dinner the night before their nuptials.  As she’s getting ready for bed, she hears heavy footsteps on the stairs.  Happily thinking it’s Dillon going back on their abstinence agreement, she arranges herself nude on the bed.  Terror grabs her when the door opens and it’s Edwin.  He kidnaps her, planning to ransom her for the money he and Berthe believe they deserve.

Dillon shows up to the house early the next morning to help get things ready for the wedding.  When he finds the house empty, his first impulse is that Charity has jilted him as Lucy had.  Then he forces himself to calm down, knowing she would never do that and continues his search for her.  Seeing her hat and reticule on the table he knows something is amiss, she would never leave for town without them.

He runs to the barn and discovers tracks of two horses leaving the property.  He also discovers a tiny rose made of ribbon, a rose from the beautiful nightgown she’d purchased for their wedding night.  His journey is slow and frustrating.  The ribbon rose trail leads him to town, and the warehouse district.

The trail stops at the last warehouse in the row.  He blasts in when through the window when he sees Charity and Cecilia bound and abused by Edwin and his mother.  He bursts in, and together he and Charity bring them down.  Dillon is shot during the process.  The injury turns out to be only a flesh wound, and after it’s attended to, Dillon insists that the wedding go on.

After they are married, they enjoy a sensual train ride to Colorado, and still more physical delights at their hideaway at the Strater Hotel.

Through each other, Charity and Dillon rediscover confidence, hope for the future, and everlasting love.

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