3 stars and a half

Historical Romance Review: Speak Only Love by Deana James (aka Mona D. Sizer)

3 1/2 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Another Great Romance

Speak Only Love is yet another Deana James treat. This Zebra romance takes us to Regency Era England and the story of tumultuous love between two uniquely original characters.

Vivian Marleigh is a mute heiress who cannot speak ever since she witnessed the tragic death of her mother. She is forced into marriage with a young, hard-drinking viscount, Piers Larne. The marriage was arranged by the viscounts’ wicked father, the Earl.

Piers is not happy about this union, but what can he do? He feels powerless in his life, with no agency. His daddy pulls the strings, and like a puppet, Piers must dance to his control. Piers is a dissolute mess, spending most of his time drinking and recovering from gunshot wounds or the many injuries he receives. For besides being the wastrel son of a nobleman, our hero is also a smuggler.

Vivian doesn’t speak a word in the book, yet the love story unfolds and the two pawns in an evil man’s game soon form an intense bond that goes beyond words. The heroines in James’ book always have a delicate sense of strength, a fortitude that makes them mightier than the hero in many ways. Vivian is no different, her persona grows into one with a strong voice, even though she cannot physically speak.

Though at first both parties are wary of each other, neither of them wanting to be part of this unlikely union, slowly they begin to understand one another. Without words, together Piers and Vivian form an unexpected bond. They face many harrowing experiences, as Piers’ smuggling activities catch up with him. Vivian, who doesn’t have a physical voice, is an amazing, resilient character and with her, Piers can face whatever challenges lie ahead.

Final Analysis of Speak Only Love

Although I prefer Deana James’ Western and Medieval romances to her Regency & Victorian Era novels, she has yet to disappoint me in any of her books. I really enjoyed the way James wrote her heroines. They go through hell and back but always retain their dignity. Good stuff.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

1 reply »

  1. Great review as always, Jacqueline.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how Ms. James develops the relationship between Vivian and Piers given that she cannot verbalize her feelings and thoughts without words. People can do so in many ways, so I’m curious to see how Ms. James does it in “Speak Only Love”.

    You wrote this at the end of the review : “They go through hell and back but always retain their dignity”. I’ve found that to be true in every book by Ms. James that I’ve read;; she has written some extremely strong romance novel heroines.

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