Series: Improper Series
Published by Carina Press on November 11, 2013
A reckless infatuation nearly ruined Lady Alice Cathcart-Ross in her youth, but from the moment she spies Elijah Philemon Keating scaling a rock face without a rope in sight, the man awakens her long-buried desire. Alice has come to the high Alps in search of a mountaineer, and in Elijah she finds the guide of her dreams.
Though Elijah is known as one of the greatest explorers of the age, a tragic accident has destroyed his taste for adventure and society. Elijah can't deny his attraction to Alice, but he resolves to avoid the entanglement that could accompany it. He promises Alice one week in the Alps, and no more.
Alice agrees, valuing her independence above all else. But as the heights they climb by day are overshadowed by the summits of passion they reach at night, these vows become harder and harder to keep…
Alice Cathcart-Ross wishes to explore the Alps and sketch the plants she finds there. To do so, she must hire a capable guide and has a list of recommended guides provided by her climbing-enthusiast brother. While traveling to the first town along her route, she is rendered speechless by the sight of Eli climbing a rock face without any ropes whatsoever. When the two later meet on the road, their instant attraction to one another leads them to Alice’s hotel room and a night of steamy passion. One that neither party has any intention of repeating. However, when Eli turns out to be the renowned E.P. Keating, Alice and Eli’s intentions of not repeating their passionate affair may be easier said than done as they begin their journey through the Alps.
Alice is a talented and affluent artist. She is determined to remain an independent woman and enjoys the outdoors. She is not quick to complain and demonstrates a hardy resilience not often exhibited by Victorian women. Nor is she an naive little miss. She has taken lovers before and enjoys self-pleasure when she has the desire and privacy to indulge.
Eli is a practical man. He has a straight-forward and efficient personality that serves him well guiding Alice through the High Pass. Recovering from a major climbing accident that killed his friend, Eli is reserved and cautious in both manner and action.
Although they are instantly attracted to one another and often give into that lust during their expedition, love develops slowly over the course of the story. They do not recognize or acknowledge the feeling until the very end. Eli is the first to realize it and must convince Alice that letting him into her heart will cause her to relinquish her independence.
A sophomore effort from Ms. Ross for the Improper series; better than Improper Relations, but nothing that really stands out. The plot has been done many times. This erotica novella reads more like a historical romance novella since the sex scenes are neither numerous nor particularly steamy. About on par with something you would read in a typical historical romance, but mild compared to most erotica. The characterization of both Alice and Eli vacillates and there are times where the phrasing or thoughts appear more contemporary than historical.
Overall, a quick read with some sweet and steamy moments. But I would suggest borrowing this book rather than purchase for yourself.