From the Blurb:
After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws - until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.
Ben wants Samantha as much as she wants him, but he is cautious. What can a wounded soul offer any woman? Samantha is ready to go where fate takes her, to leave behind polite society and even propriety in her desire for this handsome, honorable soldier. But dare she offer her bruised heart as well as her body? The answers to both their questions may be found in an unlikely place: in each other's arms.
Samantha has been isolated for too long, first as the carer to her late husband, and then restrained by her family-in-law under a restrictive mourning. She’s desperate to escape and find some independence. Ben is seeking his own independence from the restrictions of post-war disability and the realisation that he does not have a place at his old home. When Samantha decides to escape her situation, Ben offers to help, but a lot can happen on a trip to Wales.
Samantha and Ben’s romance is divided into two parts, beginning when Samantha is still living under the restraining hand of her family. The sparks fly almost instantaneously, but with her family watching, their romance is restrained by necessity, creating a sense of forbidden desire. Once the two escape to Wales, the romance shifts as the two are finally alone together. Although they are still restrained by social protocol, forbidden need gives way to complete release.
The story shifts and moves through these tones, building up their desire then laying it right out, and I was completely captivated by every stage of the romance.
This is certainly not a romance of opposites, as Samantha and Ben are clearly kindred spirits. They are as determined as each other and seeking a freedom neither thought was possible. You can't help but feel swept up in their happiness that is as much romance and passion, as it is independence and self-discovery.
The sex scenes are fairly tame in The Escape, which I was oddly pleased about. While their passion is deep, the romance between Ben and Samantha goes beyond what can be expressed in a sexual encounter. It's better shown with a swim at the beach and a hobbling waltz, moments which I thought were heartbreakingly beautiful.
Look, I just adored this romance. The characters are gorgeous, relatable and sexy in a slightly unexpected way. The writing is amazing with some truly incredible lines that quite literally took my breath away. The Escape is a delicious meandering seduction that made me laugh and cry, and scream just a little when it was over.
The Escape by Mary Balogh is a historical romance novel, scheduled for release by Dell on July 1 2014. It is currently available to pre-order from Amazon and Book Depository.
This book was given to Love Reading Romance in exchange for an honest review.