Charis Michaels writes characters that are so easy to love in, ‘The Virgin and the Viscount’! You’ll adore this story’s strong leading lady! Read our review below!
[For Mature Audiences; Some Spoilers]
The Virgin and the Viscount was such a fun read! It’s the second novel in The Bachelor Lords of London series by Charis Michaels. There was romance and a little drama. It made for a book that I didn’t want to put down.
Elisabeth and Bryson’s path’s have crossed before. Elisabeth, a teenager who had been kidnapped and sold to brothel, and Bryson, a nineteen-year-old virgin brought unwillingly to the brothel by his father, uncle and cousin. That night, Bryson saved Elisabeth’s life by breaking her out of the brothel and seeing her safely to London.
Fifteen years have passed and the next time he meets Elisabeth, the incident has been locked away in some corner of his mind.
Elisabeth has never forgotten, though. She now runs a charity for women and girls in need. She even goes so far as to help them escape from the brothel’s they’ve been sold to or are trapped working in. She’s knows what she wants out of life, and what she’s willing to give up because of her past.
Bryson waited (not so patiently) for his father to finally die so he could be named Viscount Rainsleigh and begin to put honor back into the family’s legacy. Over the last several years, he’s built his shipping empire and put his name back to rights.
The time is upon him where he needs to do the next respectable thing, marry and have children. He initially goes about this the same way he does with everything, it’s an item to tick off a list and he has a few requirements he gives to his secretary so they can begin the process.
What he doesn’t count on is meeting Elisabeth. He’s enchanted with her beauty and her smarts, but the downside is that she makes him feel something, and he didn’t want an emotional attachment to his wife.
He puts that aside, though, because he has to have her. Rainsleigh learns early on that Elisabeth is planning on applying for a charity contribution from him. She insists their relationship remain professional until the matter is settled, and Rainsleigh decides to settle it himself by just sending her a thousand pound donation.
Elisabeth isn’t one to be bought, though, and she sends the money back.
I adore that Elisabeth doesn’t fall over herself for Rainsleigh. Throughout the novel, she’s aware that her secret could destroy everything, but she wants these moments because she knows that when he finds out, he’ll want nothing to do with her. It’s selfish, but it’s so relatable. I never once faulted Elisabeth for thinking this way or putting it off.
The secret is actually quite damning considering the time period, but Rainsleigh knew the whole time, he had only forgot who she was.
I will say that I think he overreacted when he found out, but he understands he did that, too. Overall, the love story between these two was very solid. I loved the supporting characters, especially Lillian and Quincy. I’m so happy they got their happily ever after, and I’d enjoy a novella about their love story so much!
There were two main issues that I had with The Virgin and the Viscount. Both of them happened after they’re married and their issues are settled. A man shows up at Rainsleigh’s work and Elisabeth is the only one there. He tells her that he’s Bryson’s real father and the product of an affair his mother had.
Rainsleigh loses his mind at this and eventually hands over the viscountcy to his younger brother who doesn’t want it. I know he’s an honorable person, but I think he should have kept it. He was redeeming the family name that he was born with and the only one he knew for thirty-five years.
I feel like it would have said more about his character if he had been born a Courtland and made the decision to be different than explaining it away as he never had that blood in him anyway.
Then there was the whole thing with Elisabeth not knowing if she was a virgin because of her time spent in the brothel and the touching that happened to her. That was such a huge point of contention throughout the novel that she wasn’t “pure” but at the end, it’s brushed other very dismissively by Rainsleigh. I would have liked to seen more resolution there.
If you’re looking for a really nice historical romance, The Virgin and the Viscount is it. Even though it’s part of a series called The Bachelor Lords of London, it can be read as a stand-alone. I had no trouble with it having only read this one and not the first.