This falls within my short and steamy bed time reading category.
Eliza is part of the help in Lord Kempsly's household. But what sets her apart from the rest is that she's a beauty. Too bad her birth didn't do any better for her.
She's ecstatic at all the commotion for the ritual that takes place on the Longest Night. She knows servants aren't allowed to see what transpires behind closed doors, but that doesn't take away from her, her curiosity about the wicked acts that may ensue. She has a crush on Kell, it's just too bad he doesn't even look her way-- or so she thinks.
Kell, the same as Eliza, is part of the help. He's had a crush on her for as long as he can remember, but he doesn't have the guts to act on it-- not until he's ready to offer her a future, which looks rather gloomy if you ask me. His first priority is his family, who are in great need of the money he makes.
He's also curious about the wicked proceedings of the evening. He knows, this time won't be any different than before-- even if curiosity kills him, there is no way anyone can witness what happens that night. Well, that is what HE thinks anyway when Lord Kempsly presents him an offer he can't refuse. The thing is, Kell doesn't know what he really bargains for, until he finds himself next to Eliza in the middle of the ballroom, surrounded by all the party goers.
Do I have your attention? Yes? Well, guess what? That is when Eliza's Awakening begins. Need I say more? Great! Now, use your imagination for what happens next. Nope. Whatever you're thinking is not it. You'll have to read it to find out.
Overall, this was a pretty good story. I would've wanted to see some more backbone on both the hero and the heroine. At the beginning I wasn't sure where the story was going, but when it got to the "ritual" it TOTALLY caught my attention, and made up for the earlier parts I'd thought needed a bit more meat. Needless to say, I found myself enjoying it very much.
This review is also found at: /Blurb:
It is the eve of the Longest Night. Eliza Baker and the rest of Lord Jayden's servants excitedly prepare for the lavish festival as their masters enjoy a head start on the debauchery that awaits. Eliza's madly in love with Kell, a sweet, deliciously sexy guard. Kell returns her feelings, but is striving to make himself a worthy man before he asks Eliza's father for permission to court her.
To keep the Demon of Winter at bay, an offering must be made during the festival. As the event begins, Lord Kempsly informs Kell that he's offering a special sacrifice this year, and Kell must escort the girl who will offer up her maidenhood for the enjoyment of the crowd. Another guest will select the maiden, and Kell realizes to his dismay the guest is Lord Rakin, a rich and handsome rogue who has his eye on Eliza. But little do any of the men suspect the burgeoning desire the ceremony is awakening in Eliza...