Format Read: Print copy from the author
Number of Pages: 320 Pages
Release Date: October 2010
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Ebook
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Good Reads, Book Depository (UK), Book Depository (US), Amazon
To escape an arranged marriage, Annalise Marony decides to become a Handmaiden of the Order of Solace. But she is thwarted at every turn by Cassian, a teacher of the faith, who must test her dedication. Older than most of the girls, Annalise knows that she will be expected to please a patron in pleasures of the flesh-and she is not shy about teasing Cassian. And as they both play out the game of master and student, the secrets in their souls will either tear them apart-or bind them together forever.
This is the first book I read in the Order of Solace series and I didn’t really know what to expect. Actually, to be honest I thought it was erotica and I made Susi laugh when after 100 pages I (frustrated) asked her when the Smex was coming. lol She then (slowly) explained to me that it was a romance not erotica. When I digested that fact it was far easier to read the book. I stopped expecting smex every other page and I really got into the story.
Annalise decides to become a Handmaiden of the Order of Solace to escape a marriage that would leave both her and her future husband very unhappy. She is betrothed to her childhood friend, but she knows he can’t give her what she needs. He loves her very much but he is physically attracted to men and she wants a real relationship and the hope of building a family. In Annalise’s world, Handmaidens dedicate their life to bringing solace to their patrons. Annalise realize feigning a Calling could be the solution to escape this marriage without anyone loosing face.
She travels to the Motherhouse where she will become a novice and study until she is ready for her first patron. Annalise knows it could take years before she is ready for a patron, which suits her perfectly. She doesn’t really want to go through with it, only spend a few years away before she can finally call off the engagement. I was very curious about this ‘school’ for handmaiden. Like Annalise, I didn’t know exactly what it would entail. A handmaiden has to please her patron any way needed, which also mean in the pleasures of the flesh. Annalise thinks she will learn about how to please a man with her body there, but she is very surprised to discover this is not what she will learn in class.
Cassian is a teacher of the Faith, he has a burden and a past that very few know about. He lives surrounded by hundreds of women but he’s never let anyone get close to him. He feels guilty about something in his past and won’t let it go. He is feared and respected, and there is a lot of stories associated with him. From the very first time he and Annalise meet there are sparkles going everywhere. Annalise is not like the other girls, she is older and bolder than most. I wasn’t always happy with her, she is often too daring for me but I ended up liking her anyway. She doesn’t accept his cool demeanor, she doesn’t fear flirting with him even when he is pushing her away. Each time they meet they fight and while it could have been frustrating, in fact it built up the chemistry until the end. I loved how they always fight, I love the passion that is building slowly until it’s too much for either of them to bear.
I really like Cassian and I loved the flashbacks giving us hints about his past and how he became who he is now. There is a lot of talk about religion and spirituality, but it never became too much even for me who is a non-believer.
This was a very unusual romance that left me smiling from ear to ear. I really like Megan Hart’s writing, the words flow very easily and you can’t stop once you started reading. I was happy with the HEA and altogether very pleased about this book.
I give Selfish is the Heart 4 1/2 bookies.
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