07 Jul '12

A Nix Historical Review – Starlight by Carrie Lofty (4 Stars)

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When Alex Christie’s Father leaves him a Mill instead of an inheritance, it comes as neither a shock nor a sadness. It isn’t until the abusive father of his deceased wife threatens to take custody of their child that Alex realises that he may have benefitted some from cash. The only way to get his hands on any money, therefore having the funds available to pay to fight for custody, is to travel to Scotland and make a success of the mill. Upon his arrival, he realises that making this work could be quite a task.

Polly has taken over the voice of the Union ever since her Dad became too ill to do the role. She is loved by the workers and hated by the owners; it is not surprising that the first person they arrest after a fire at the mill is her! Dragged in-front of the new Master, she finds herself at the Mercy of one of the handsomest men she’s ever laid eyes on. But he is a Master and she is a penniless working girl, there is no way he would look at her as anything other than a piece of equipment to be utilized.
As much as the attraction flares between them, it is clear that each of them can be pumped for information by the other. Alex wants to find the culprit who burned down his mill and threatened the safety of his son, Polly wants to find out what measures are being put in place by the Masters that could affect the members of her union.  As they spend their time together for the good of their families, their relationship becomes more than just flirty exchanges. Their fledgling relationship would scandalise and ruin her reputation, but neither of them can find it in them to particularly care. When their interests collide as they fight for what they cherish the most, can the bonds between them withstand the storm?
Long time readers of this blog will know that I am not an avid Historical reader. I liked the sound of this one because I enjoy stories with a spunky heroine…and boy was she spunky J I will be reading the rest of the series… it was an interesting setting and I’d like to read more J
When we first meet Alex, I was immediately smitten as he gave up all that he knows to give his son the life he deserves.  I’m always a sucker for a man who loves his kids…he was on a winner with me 😀 When he heads to Scotland to the Mill, I liked his attitude towards being the new master. He wanted to know his staff, wanted to deal with the problems internally and was more than willing to try to make his staff happy. He is devastated that the mill may have destroyed his chances at keeping his son, but he tries to remain professional. Although I respected the way he did immediately allow the other Masters to blame Polly for the fire without evidence (they really didn’t like the Union!) I have to say that he gave into the pressure by the other mill masters regarding the changes to the pay conditions surprisingly easy for his earlier stances. I understood his acquiescence, but it happened far too easily for me. His relationship with Polly was lovely. He allowed himself to enjoy his time with her. He had no real previous pleasant experience with sex before Polly and he gives into his desires and doesn’t allow himself to care how improper it all is….I loved him J
Polly was a woman put into a difficult position. As the unofficial leader of the Union, her attraction, and later dalliance, with the Master was unseemly. She was either a traitor to the cause or using her womanly wiles to get information; neither was a particularly appealing scenario. I respected that she really didn’t give a shit. It was naive, but ultimately she followed her heart rather than her head. When she had choices to make about her Union, she did them without consideration to her relationship. In fact they both did; I felt that was true to their characters but potentially disastrous for their relationship.  I always love a heroine who is unafraid of sexuality that is willing to do what feels good and Polly definitely does this! It was one of her more redeeming qualities. I was more than a little shocked to hear her use the word “pussy”….I’m too green with Historical obviously J

Overall this was a steamy romance set in a time where lust was considered a sin. With both hero and heroine on opposite sides of a business battle, it is clear that this road to true love will never run smooth.  With lots of smutty sex and an ever present set of bad-guys, the tale has plenty of meat to grab your attention and keep you guessing.  


Nix

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