Harlequin Historical #46
From the back of the book:
Julie Farroux had escaped the guillotine by marrying a withered old man who desired her only for her inheritance. Their loveless union had left her believing her heart was as shriveled as his, until she found the warmth of desire in the arms of a handsome stranger. In the glittering city that was Napoleon’s Paris, deception and greed were a way of life. Sebastian Ramlin had made a devil’s bargain with Julie’s husband … to seduce Julie — and give her husband an heir. But he never planned to fall in love with her. Could he find the courage to reveal his treachery … and risk losing the woman he loved?
Mollie Ashton’s Terms of Surrender was my first Harlequin Historical, and it got me hooked on the series for a long time! It’s a wonderful gem of a book. Don’t believe me? Just read the seal of approval by historical fiction/romance legend Roberta Gellis on the cover.
The book takes place in the post-French Revolution/Napoleonic Era, one of my favorite time periods.
A beautiful Frenchwoman, Julie, is married to an impotent, elderly man who desperately wants an heir. The husband hires an Englishman to seduce her and impregnate her. Sebastian Ramlin does just that, but not before falling in love. He pursues a love he knows is impossible. However, he just can’t stay away from Julie!
Although, in the end, he must leave her. There is a long separation of twenty years. The lovers will reunite, but the stakes have changed. Can they make it work?
Towards the latter part of the book, something happens, which shocked me at the time because it was so unusual in the tame romances I read. It was a very unexpected moment in a Harlequin, historical or otherwise.
Napoleon plays a big part in the book, too, so that’s a major plus for me. There’s a twist involving him at the end. I bet you won’t expect what it is!
If you can get your hands on Terms of Surrender, do it. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, and quite the little treasure!