Genre: Erotic Romance, Historical Fiction
Publisher: World Tree Publishing
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
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Lydia Hunt is familiar with the concept of sin. Reared beneath the strictures of religious zealotry and abuse, she has heard again and again that her nature is wicked and her soul bound for eternal damnation. But when she is sent to work at Mowbray Hall, ancestral home of the enigmatic Lord Cailvairt, Lydia begins to fear just how wicked she might be.
For although Cailvairt makes no effort to hide his pursuit of her, his insistence on challenging the ideals imposed upon her as a child―even while speaking to her as an equal―leaves it difficult for Lydia to resist his attentions. As her inhibitions crumble away and the foundation of her beliefs threatens to falter, she must determine if giving into temptation will destroy her... or be the act that saves her.
The Crimson Gown is an erotic romance novel by Quenby Olson. Lydia Hunt takes on temporary employment at nearby Mowbray Hall. The work is hard, but it gives her a much-needed respite from her usual toils at the inn that her father--a judgmental, legalistic, abusive man--owns. By chance, she meets Mowbray Hall's owner, Lord Cailvairt, a handsome mysterious man who almost immediately pursues her in earnest. Torn between her own desires and her understand of good and evil, which was twisted and confused by the ministrations of her now deceased grandmother, Lydia must decide what she believes.
I usually keep about five miles' distance between myself and anything with the word "erotic," but having been a fan of the author's previous works and read the story behind her writing this piece, I was willing to give The Crimson Gown a try. As I've grown to expect from this author, the prose is magnificent. Ms. Olson has a talent for describing her settings, especially historical ones, in such a way that even an uninformed reader can see everything perfectly. I also made a quick connection with Lydia, and sympathized with her greatly. The sexual content was more than I would normally be comfortable with, and I did end up skipping over certain parts of that, but it does not go beyond many books labeled only romance. What I did appreciate was that while this book was very sexual, it did not go down the rather popular path of having a domineering male character who denigrates and mistreats women. Especially since the story takes place in a time period where women were not often treated with respect, it was refreshing. While this is not my normal read, I give it five stars without reservation.
Please note that, were this a movie rather than a book, it would be rated R. If sexual content makes you uncomfortable, please look into one of Quenby's other titles, all of which are clean.
Here, I will share with you my 3.5, 4- and 5-star reads. Let's fangirl together!