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A Lady Awakened: Blackshear Family Series # 1 | [Cecilia Grant]

A Lady Awakened: Blackshear Family Series # 1

Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes... for a fee.
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Publisher's Summary

Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes... for a fee.

Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow's weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she'll get her money's worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh-only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can't resist him forever. But could a lady's sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all... love?

©2011 Cecilia Grant (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Tantalizingly sexy, heartwarming, and oh-so funny, this romance is unforgettable; a stunning debut." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (312 )
5 star
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3.7 (278 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (280 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (13)
Performance
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  •  
    M. Rondeau West Springfield, MA United States 08-20-13
    M. Rondeau West Springfield, MA United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good - Hard to like Heroine"

    Widowed after only ten months of marriage, Martha Russell was hearing from the lawyer that unless she had some reason (pregnancy) she would have to vacate her estate and leave her beloved servants to the mercy at the hands of her malevolent brother-in-law. Only if an heir were on the way could she forestall him from taking over the estate and thrusting all the female servants into his despicable hands. Gathering all her strength and determination to not let that happen, Martha approaches her neighbor, the rakish exiled son of a baron from London. The strictly business proposition; one month of sexual attention to which she would pay him a hefty fee!

    *** Theophilus Mirkwood couldn’t decide if he should have been insulted or flattered by Martha’s proposition. Knowing he should be on his best behavior if he ever wanted to return to London, Theo thought long and hard but seeing as how she was so very lovely decided to succumb. However, when push came to shove so to speak when Theo arrived to do the “deed” he was the one that felt quite outraged. Martha really was going to treat this as a total ‘business’ pursuit and there was no such thing as making ‘love’ to a woman who simply submitted while she most probably thought of other things than what was happening to her body.

    The author created Martha as a woman who never experienced any type of loving relationship from her deceased husband; she knew no better and expected all men to behave the same. However, cold she acted towards Theo, she was caring and loving towards the people she felt were her responsibility, otherwise she never would have considered faking a pregnancy simply to feather her own nest, so to speak. Martha convinced herself she was truly doing this to save her female staff from a man whose despicable behavior simply could not and should not be brought down on the female staff she now cared for.

    What was really very well done though was the change that came over both leads. Martha learned to feel for the man who did his best to befriend her and Theo was taught crucial points of not just land management from his land steward, but to realize that the people whose lives he ultimately controlled were under his care as well. In fact, Theo came to enjoy the challenge of what he could accomplish once he put his mind to it; as well as having Martha’s good opinion.

    Bottom line: I found it hard to like Martha because of her rigidity in how she was going about getting herself pregnant, even though, I always knew she was doing this for the greater good. I loved the slow build-up of the love that developed between the two. This was definitely an interesting read and as I listened to this as an audio, the performance by Susan Erickson was well done. Martha was a tough heroine to like but in the end - I was very happy in how all turned out!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cee SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 02-05-13
    Cee SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 02-05-13 Member Since 2011

    Just like everyone else here to find a great read!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story was dragging on and on"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    ......Hmmm I wouldn't know who would like it really because I felt it was dragging on too slow and there wasn't anything that kept my interested. It took me a week to finish and usually I finish a book in a day or two. The characters I felt were not developed enough and did not suit one another.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    In search of it!


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes it did in some way.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    not really..


    Any additional comments?

    I wish there was more romance and thrill to it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathie Linton, IN, United States 10-18-12
    Cathie Linton, IN, United States 10-18-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a fantastic book, so different than most"
    Where does A Lady Awakened rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    this rates at at least a 10


    What did you like best about this story?

    the strong female character "in charge" of her life and knows what she wants, but equally strong male character, don't get me wrong, but he falls first. Most of these regency romances are always the other way. This one is so unique, at least that I have read.


    Have you listened to any of Susan Ericksen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, she is Eve Dallas in JD Robbs In Death Series. She is super, I have heard her in others besides the In Death, by far the BEST out there. I have about 5 that I look for when I listen and Susan is one of the best.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    nothing extreme, nothing any other typical regency book gets from me, anyway.


    Any additional comments?

    super book, worth the money or credit, and super narration. Im already getting book 2, with the same narrator, so I know it will be good. LOL

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liatris Salem, OR, United States 09-11-12
    Liatris Salem, OR, United States 09-11-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Give it a few minutes"

    Enjoyable listen. The narrator was a little stiff sounding at first, but as I got to know the protagonist, it became the perfect tone and rate. A good listen for historical romance fans. Not one of those ballroom books, though, so a little less predictable and a little more interesting. The changes the leads go through happen slowly enough that they are less unbelievable than some historics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noirbear Rochester, NH, United States 09-05-12
    Noirbear Rochester, NH, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wake up Lady"

    Actually the story is a good one but a long one. I think Ms Grant could have shorten the book in some areas especially the beginning.So that by the time you get to the meat of the story, you are not yelling for them to get on with it.There seems to be a lot that goes on towards the end of the book is timed better than the slow beginning. I am sure we are to take into account the youth of woman in question and her inexperience. But where she shows hints of intelligence in some areas, you'd think she carry them through to others. I personally am a huge Susan Ericksen fan so it is the narration that got me through the slower parts. I tend to like the paranormal romance stories, which include vamps,werewolves,fairies,fey,druids and even the highlanders. So this was a bit of different. It is a romantic historical based period love story. Best I can say for this type of book was it was okay.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 01-04-14
    Trish JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story but bad narration.."
    Any additional comments?

    This really was a terrific story. Loved Martha and Mirkwood but I didn't see it as a romance novel until about 67%. It was a screwing book. They screwed like minks trying to get her pregnant because of an inheritance and that was ok except it took her waaaaay to long to come around and even kiss him.
    As to the narrator? I kept losing track of who was saying what because all the males and females sounded alike. All she did was read the book. No deepening the voices of males, no emotions. Read the book, don't listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle San Antonio, TX, United States 07-02-12
    Michelle San Antonio, TX, United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "The best romance novel I've read in AGES!!"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud!


    Any additional comments?

    Smart, funny, and so worth the money! Can't wait to listen to it again!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kd CLINTON, MS, United States 07-13-14
    Kd CLINTON, MS, United States 07-13-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful tale of developing love & changing"

    What a wonderful tale of widowed, prudish Mrs. Russell being loosened by the rake-ish Mr. Mirkwood as their “business arrangement” takes an unexpected turn, including the endearing development of a friendship. As a result, both of them were changed in surprising and, at times, unwanted ways.

    The story had a strong h. It was paced well. It had engaging characters, including but not limited to the h and H. And everything was plausible, including all of the dialogue and how people engaged with another. There was little internal dialogue, so the focus was on seeing not telling the story, which was great.

    The story does not have any explicit sex scenes though it’s full of sex scenes due to the story’s basis. But they are not explicit. They are, however, sensual and revealing without any rawness or, what I would consider, detail. The only possible concerning term for some listeners—though not me—was cock. And for some people, it might not have enough heat. The heat level is barely a simmer. And I, a person who enjoys heat in a book, still find the book so enjoyable. The level of heat worked appropriately in this telling.

    And there’s an undercurrent of mild humor; not in a “ha ha” way but constantly smile-worthy. Sorta cute. It was so delightful to watch them push each other’s buttons. Mrs. Russell’s buttons were generally related to sex and bedroom action, and Mr. Mirkwood’s buttons were generally related to his moral development and business astuteness.

    And supplementary pleasure was watching their neighborhood, their tenants and farmers also change, improve as they were given opportunities for a fairer more just life. The story flowed. I looked forward to listening to it and didn’t want it to end. The narrator doesn’t have a big repertoire of voices, but the differences were adequate enough to keep up with who was talking and when. Though, this was due, in large part, to the author’s story structure. I can’t speak to the author’s ability historical accuracy, and that type of detail matters little to me overall. So I will look for more from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina DENVER, Colombia 05-06-14
    Christina DENVER, Colombia 05-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of my favorite new authors"
    What did you love best about A Lady Awakened?

    I loved that her story was so tender and intelligent. She took 2 characters with obvious short comings and created a story where they strove to become better people, far different people than they thought they could be, inspired by each other.
    I thought so much of this book that I bought it for friends.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book made me cry in several places, not sad tears, but for the tenderness portrayed so uniquely.


    Any additional comments?

    Just get it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DK COLCHESTER, VT, United States 05-03-14
    DK COLCHESTER, VT, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2012

    HATE spoilers! Enjoy HOT, sexy books. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. Running out this type Audible-so on2 lighter romance/mystery :-(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awaken Me After This BORING Book Is Over-Bland"
    Would you try another book from Cecilia Grant and/or Susan Ericksen?

    Cecilia Grant did not impress me with this first listen. I will probably pass on anything else she has written.

    There are a lot of great historical authors out there that I would listen to first. Try Julie Garwood or Wendy Lindstrom - if you like Highland romances go for Hannah Howell or Jennifer Ashley.

    Susan Ericksen's performance was appropriate for the material...blah.


    Any additional comments?

    Newly widowed and desperate to protect her estate and beloved servants from her malevolent brother-in-law, Martha Russell conceives a daring plan. Or rather, a daring plan to conceive. After all, if she has an heir on the way, her future will be secured. Forsaking all she knows of propriety, Martha approaches her neighbor, a London exile with a wicked reputation, and offers a strictly business proposition: a month of illicit interludes... for a fee.

    Theophilus Mirkwood ought to be insulted. Should be appalled. But how can he resist this siren in widow's weeds, whose offer is simply too outrageously tempting to decline? Determined she'll get her money's worth, Theo endeavors to awaken this shamefully neglected beauty to the pleasures of the flesh-only to find her dead set against taking any enjoyment in the scandalous bargain. Surely she can't resist him forever. But could a lady's sweet surrender open their hearts to the most unexpected arrival of all... love?

    This was a recount of 30 nights of a snooze fest of 'passion' as Mrs. Russell tries to get pregnant by Theo. The days are mundane and tedious. The author tries to provide a bit of dimension with Martha's interest in starting a school and getting to know her neighbors (after having lived in the town for several years).

    Save your $ and credit for the many, many deserving titles out there...this is not even worth the under $5 sale price for which I got it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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