I love this book by Deana James. She turns the perfect anti-hero into a sympathetic hero. Vivian is a strong heroine who despite not being able to speak is able to take the household in hand (a challenge with an extremely difficult housekeeper!) and make Piers the hero fall head over heels for her. A beautiful romance.
Plotting scoundrels, an elaborate scheme of events that turns a mute heiress's life upside down, a handsome wastrel ripe for reforming and a sweet young virgin are among the stock devices and characters James ( Wild Texas Heart ) offers in this uninspired historical romance. Tristam Larne, earl of Larnaervon and an unsavory old gent, has Vivian Marleigh brought from the convent where she resides, ostensibly to nurse his wife. But Larne has other plans for Vivian, and after the countess dies, he blocks the young woman's departure. When Vivian's guardian, Sebastian Dawlish, arrives to claim his ward, the earl exposes Dawlish's scheme to imprison Vivian in the convent while living on her wealth. Larne's son Piers, a genial fellow when he's sober, thwarts both men by helping Vivian get to London to see her solicitor--but the latter is in cahoots with Dawlish. After Larne has Vivian snatched back, he insists she marry Piers. Vivian agrees, fearing her guardian more than the old man. But just as she and Piers warm up to each other, Dawlish has an idea to recover control of his ex-ward and her fortune: make a widow of her.
will she break down his always drunk gruff exterior, this mute and flawless beauty...or does she even want to....
I absolutely love this book. I read it years ago and could not forget it, so I had to get it again for my keeper shelf.
Piers and Vivian go through a lot for their love, but everything is kept very realistic, in my opinion. Their trials are all due to greedy people who surround them. The fact that Deana James is able to paint such a vivid relationship between them while Vivian cannot even speak; well that just says volumes about her skill.
This is a story that just stays with you and that is not dated in any way. Read it and you won't be sorry!