Review: Trial by Desire by Courtney Milan

Filed in Courtney Milan , Review , The HEA Lover Posted on September 13, 2010 @ 10:00 am 5 comments

Format Read: E-ARC from Netgalley and from Author
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Release Date: October 1st 2010
Publisher: HQN Books
Formats Available: Paperback, eBook
Purchasing Info: Author’s website, Goodreads

Book Blurb:

Lady Kathleen Carhart has everything she could want: generous pin-money, a fulfilling life of charity, and a husband who lives six thousand miles away. But then her husband returns. Ned Carhart returned to help his best friend find his wife, who has disappeared. And now he’s inquiring into the carefully-guarded secrets Kate has kept. Ned is as determined to understand Kate as he is to discover the whereabouts of the missing woman. And that is the least convenient part of their marriage, as Kate is the one who stole her away in the first place.

My Thoughts:

Trial by Desire is the first book I read by Courtney Milan. I was not halfway through the book that I already decided I would read her previous book Proof of Seduction as soon as possible! I love the author’s writing style. Trial by Desire might not have the most original story you’ve ever read, but the characters really stand out. And this, my friends, is what I loved most about this book.
I was hooked from the first few pages. We meet Kathleen and her new husband Ned just a few weeks after their wedding. This is when Ned announces her he will leave for China to conduct some business for his cousin…. for a few years (Wait that’s all in the prologue I’m not spoiling anything lol). When Ned comes back, Kathleen’s secret is at risk. She hid away the wife of one of Ned’s friend and she fears she will be discovered. I won’t tell more of the story so I won’t spoil anything but this is central to the story.
The plot is not the most complicated but there’s an underlining tension throughout the book that made it perfect. What made this book brilliant? The characters! Ned is a puzzle for me. Even after finishing the book I still don’t get him completely. This is all about control and proving one’s strength (and Slaying Dragons!! lol) . I felt for him and his struggles. Even if I didn’t really understand his behavior I was really sad for him (1). He is really complex and I was nearly crying (Ok maybe I cried a little) when I realized the extend of his suffering (e.g. Boat…you’ll see when you read). But Ned is also the nicest man you can find. He is funny and he wants the best for his wife (and he’s freaking handsome, but that’s just a plus lol).
Kathleen wants her husband. She wants to be a wife and longs for any kind of intimacy between them. This book is beautiful, some scenes were absolutely amazing. So much tenderness it made my heart bleeds! Some kissing scenes were the most beautiful I’ve ever read. Ned is the one holding back (for reasons I won’t reveal *evil grin*). So what else can I tell you? Well the smex scenes are VERY erotic (e.g. Wall smex!!!!!) and you really don’t want to miss that.
So in short, Courtney Milan’s writing is beautiful. The characters have depth. The story is simple enough to be realistic. And the ending left me smiling from ear to ear. I can’t recommend enough this book. It’s a superb love story. I cannot wait to read other books by Courtney Milan!

I give Trial by Desire 5 Bookies!

(1) Ok I feel stupid now…someone pointed out to me that Ned ………………………………….
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  warning this is spoilerish about Ned  
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…must be some kind of bipolar. And WOW, how did I miss that. It’s clear as water. I mean I realized he was prone to depression and I should have made the link. He is either too full of energy or completely depressed. I’m still shocked I didn’t realize that while reading the book. O_o I stand by my point, Courtney Milan’s characters really are special and fantastic. (Even when I’m being dense)

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About Caro The HEA Lover


Caroline is a HEA loving, yarn addicted French who's desperately hoping to get a HEA of her own. If she's not reading then she can be found knitting while listening to Audiobooks or watching Tv shows. Her secret addiction is reading websites that make fun at other people's expense (DYAC, Failbook)! Caroline also blogs at the Secret HEA Society with Susi.

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5 Comments

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  • Bea September 13, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I've never heard of Courntey Milan before but you've got me wanting to try her books. I have noticed that recent romances are including heroes who are bipolar or autistic. It's nice to see romance branching out.

  • pattepoilue September 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    @Bea oh yes and I love it! I loved reading The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie with an autistic hero.
    I think it makes for some great heroes. Ned is very likable even with his problem. I really enjoyed reading about him and his struggles.

    I think you should start with Proof by Seduction though (unlike me lol) It's the first book in the series. But you can read this one as a standalone. I just think I've missed a lot of background on the hero. (maybe this is why it took me so long to realize what his problem was *wink*)

    and yes this is a very long answer LOL

  • Blodeuedd September 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    So he is bipolar, that is sure different. But it does sound like a good HR for sure

  • pattepoilue September 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

    @Blodeuedd yep pretty different but Courtney made him lovable too. I really enjoyed this hero. I love a good puzzle and he was really puzzling. =P

  • Bea September 16, 2010 at 7:00 am

    @pattepoilue – I have a knack for starting a series in midstream, lol. I'll look for the first one. Thouhg, I'd prob guess his problem sooner as I've had autistic kids in my classroom. 😛

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