Feb 12, 2013

The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day

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"Lady Pelham could not have designed a husband more suited to her needs. The Marquess of Grayson is a dear and enchanting friend and an unrepentant ladies man. Their union is solid; their hearts safe from one another. But every marriage has its surprises...

They Were Together For All The Wrong Reasons

They are London's most scandalous couple. Isabel, Lady Pelham, and Gerard Faulkner, Marquess of Grayson, are well matched in all things - their lusty appetites, constant paramours, wicked wits, provocative reputations, and their absolute refusal ever to ruin their marriage of convenience by falling in love with one another. Isabel knows such a charming rake will never appeal to her guarded heart, nor will she sway his philandering one. It is a most agreeable sham - until a shocking turn of events sends Gerard from her side.

Now, four years later, Gerard has come home to Isabel. But the carefree, boyish rogue who left has been replaced by a brooding, powerful, irresistible man who is determined to seduce his way into her affections. Gone is the devil-may-care companion who shared her friendship and nothing more, and in his place is temptation itself - a husband who desires Isabel body and soul and who will stop at nothing to win her love. No, this is not at all the man she had married. But he is the man who might finally steal her heart...."
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBPR3fewzI&feature=player_embedded


My review:

  "Every touch, caress, and murmur was a promise made. To forsake all others. To love one another, trust one another, and leave the past behind. Theirs was a union made for all the wrong reasons, but in the end it was one that could not have been more right."

 A marriage of wicked compromise turned into a beautiful, true love.

And not only that: We have two stories in one book! The main one being the story of Lord Grayson and Lady Isabel, and the second minor one, of Lord Rhys Trenton, Isabel's brother and the very honest and smart Abigail Stewart.

The story starts four years before when the young and wild Gerard Faulkner suggested a marriage to the widowed Lady Pelham. What he gained from it: his mother will stop bothering him with requests of marriage. What she gains: Isabel's lovers will stop proposing to her when they fall in love with her. What they both gain: they can continue having their affairs with whomever they want without the unnecessary problems. Oh, the scandal!

But then Grayson's love, Emily died at his childbirth and he escaped feeling broken.

"After Emily died, I despised myself, Isabel. You’ve no notion of how I wronged her—so many ways, so many times. I couldn’t help but see what a waste it was for a woman like her to die over a man like me. It took me a long time to come to terms with the self-loathing, and realize that while I could not change the past, I could honor her by changing who I was in the future." 
 But after 4 years he's back and very much changed. And determined to be a true husband to his wife.
"I don’t require your help to find sex. I require you.” He licked and nipped at the tender skin of her throat, and then he breathed her in, his arms tightening around her with a low groan. “I want messy. And sweaty and dirty. God give me strength, for I have been cursed with wanting that from my wife." 
At first it was a little confusing and didn't make sense how Gray was suddenly seeing a lot of good things about Isabel that make him attracted to her. But I learned that now, after 4 years of working on his properties and fields, he had time to think about his life and.. He matured and finally saw all the mistakes he made before and the things he neglected.

But the problem lies with Lady Pelham.
She married to man she loved when she was 17 but then realized that she was just a trophy wife while her husband changes lovers. After Pelham died, Isabel vowed to never fall into another man's trap. So she went about her life, just enjoying good men and their company. She married Gray but never expected that he would want her.
"We were nothing to each other, nothing. And I wanted it that way. I liked it that way." 
It's Gray's turn to win her over.

Gerard Faulkner, Marquess of Grayson

"I pledge my troth to you, my wife. Not for my needs, as I did before, but for yours. You have given me so much— friendship, laughter, acceptance. You have never judged me or chastised. When I did not know who I was, you cared for me anyway. When I make love to you, I am content and I wish for nothing else."
The new Gray is a man who experienced life and learned to cherish the simplest things and everything he had that he was careless about before. Starting with his wife. I liked that he was still the charming and humorous man he was before.
"You won’t chase me away with your ill-humor, Isabel. I waited all day for this meal, and I intend to enjoy it. If you’ve nothing charming to say to me, put one of these pheasant sandwiches in your mouth, and just let me look at you."

"Perhaps once or twice it has crossed my mind that I should manage my c*ck, instead of allowing it to lead me. But then I remember the feel of your c*nt in orgasm, the way it clutches me, the way you arch up and cry out my name. And I tell my brain to shut up and leave me alone." 
He transformed into a handsome romantic man and I LOVE a possessive, passionate but also a romantic man. The combination totally made me swoon.
There were enough hot scenes they shared and they were of the charts! Grayson is wild in bed and Isabel likes to get a little dirty too. I just have to mention the ass-bite scene again... I think I was in "Have Mercy!" mode the entire time.

"You and I and no one else, Isabel. If it drives me into the grave, I will find a way to be what you need."
"I want to be what you need, as well. Desperately." She made the admission without fear.
"You are." He pressed his sweat dampened face against hers. "For God’s sake, you are everything."

He was so wonderful and considerate and thoughtful and he just made me melt into a pile of goo!

Lady Isabel Pelham

At first I didn't like her because I'm just tired of those types of heroines when they decide to never fall in love again after being disappointed by ONE man. He's dead, woman. Move on! Life is still young and learn that you can never generalize with people, men included.
"Even as Gray emptied himself onto the counterpane, she knew she was ruined. She wanted this, longed for this depth of feeling during sex.
She hated him for reminding her of what it could be like, of what she was missing, of what she’d avoided for the last several years. He’d given her an addicting taste of what he would soon take away.
Already she missed it, and ached for its loss."

But she really is a good person and I was just okay with her the whole time… Oh hell, I ADMIT, all my thoughts were on Grayson! Moving onnn…

The whole plot was .. weeeell – I had a little problem with it. It just didn’t make up the whole story quite right. There were many scenes and many events and I liked all of them, but I felt that some parts weren’t connected. The subplot, although it might have been unnecessary and confusing to a lot of readers(I see many negative points about this in some reviews), it actually made the book better for me.

The subplot is a smaller, but not less wonderful story. Lord Trenton and Abby make a little too cliché couple, but I still enjoyed it immensely. Rhys, a man quite like young Gray, find a woman hiding on a party and reading a book. He was interested and attracted to the unusual woman who surprised him with her to-the-bone honesty. I too instantly liked her blunt manner. Add a little mystery to the girl and the boy was hooked.

“Just kiss me and say goodbye, Lord Trenton. Be content that you have given me the fantasy of a handsome, dashing suitor.”

Would the woman ever cease confounding his wits?
“You have this scent about you, my lord. Your cologne and soap and starch. It’s quite delicious and when your skin heats up, the smell sometimes makes me feel as if I could swoon. I can only imagine how much more pronounced the effect will be after the physical exertions of lovemaking. I don’t believe I would be able to sleep a wink with that scent all over my bed linens

Reading this book, I felt like a little girl reading her first romance story. It's beautiful, it's charming. Sweet but also scorching hot with passion. Just what I like. It was amazing but it wasn't Amaze-balls! And it didn't end with her pregnant after so many misunderstandings. So 4 stars from me even though I wanted to give it 5.

Until next time,

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