Pub Date: 1991
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Regency Duo #1
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era Romance
More at: Goodreads
Purchase Book: Buy on Amazon
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
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.
The Characters and Plot
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 powerful voice, even though she cannot physically speak.
Another Great Romance by Deana James
Though at first both parties in Speak Only Love 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. With her abiding strength, Piers can face whatever challenges lie ahead.
Final Analysis of Speak Only Love
Speak Only Love might not be Deana James’ best novel I’ve read so far, but it certainly was a compelling read. I do prefer Deana James’ western and medieval romances to her Regency & Victorian Era novels. Even so, she has yet to disappoint me in any of her books.
I really appreciated the way James wrote her heroines. They go through hell and back but always retain their dignity. Good stuff.
Piers Larne had learned to hide his feelings behind a mask of bitter indifference and a large decanter of brandy. But the sight of the heiress his father was forcing him to wed sobered the viscount’s dissolute soul. Her silvery blond hair and flawless pale skin could lure a man to madness.
Not that Vivian Marleigh would be a willing bride; her hatred for him shone clearly from eyes the color of moonlight on water. But she could not very well refuse. Long ago, the shock of her mother’s death had robbed her of the power of speech, and the delicate beauty could not say what was in her heart.
It was up to Piers to spark the fires that would melt her icy reserve, and teach her the pleasures that await those who seek only passion and Speak Only Love.SPEAK ONLY LOVE by DEANA JAMES