This is a review of the Markham Hall Series by Sierra Simone, which is available here:
I first found this author when I read Priest, which I totally loved. Searching on Amazon, I found this series and downloaded it straight away. Historical? Check. Romance? Check. Dark? Check. Doesn’t get much more of a winning formula than that.
This is a really long read. The omnibus is 3 books plus a novella, so be prepared for a long haul read.
As for the contents…well…I don’t even know where to start. This book is steamy. STEAMY. S.T.E.A.M.Y. Cold shower every 10 pages steamy. It’s got a high percentage of sex scene too, maybe about 45% smut to 55% plot, perhaps higher.
Ivy Leavold is the last surviving member of her family and, as an impoverished spinster, she has to rely on someone to take her in. That someone is Julian Markham, the bitter and brooding lord of Markham Hall. What begins is an education in power exchange as they try to find their places with each other.
You have to go into this book knowing what you’re going to get out of it. If you’re expecting a serious, well-researched historical saga, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
The book had its faults. Even suspending my disbelief, I did get a little irritated with Julian constantly talking in modern speak, “it hurt so good” etc. There was also a scene that made me deeply uncomfortable to read, which was the “punishment” scene. I get why it happened the way that it did and while I appreciated the power play aspect of it, anyone as experienced as Julian claimed to be would know that you would never go in unprepared like that because of the danger of causing serious and permanent damage.
That said, I didn’t care how historically inaccurate the rest of it was. It was an absorbing and romping good read and puts Sierra Simone on the list of authors we’ll be watching and reading with interest!