Having read more than a few Harlequin Historicals in my time, I thought I knew what to expect when I opened this book. I could not have been more mistaken! The sumptuous detail of the setting, the impeccable research on the historical characters, the poetry, and the sizzling eroticism took me completely by surprise.
The main protagonist in LIBERTINE'S KISS, William De Veres, is closely modeled after the real life John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Courtier, playwright, and poet, he was one of the foremost libertines of the Merry Monarch���s court. William is deeply troubled by events from his past, and speaking frankly, is pretty damaged goods. He,like Rochester, is a brilliant satirical wit, but chiefly when completely soused. He drinks and goes from bed to bed with little care for the consequences of his actions, but Elizabeth���s re-entry in his life turns it completely upside down. Elizabeth loves him for who he is and renews tender sentiments that that he thought long dead. She eventually forces him to face his demons or lose her forever.
Having a great love of history, particularly the Restoration and Georgian ages, I lost myself completely in this novel. Although I am not a connoisseur of poetry, the inclusion of Rochester���s actual poems in the context of the story absolutely worked, adding richness and a greater realism.
The sexual content is quite explicit and even vulgar at times, but again, completely in keeping with the setting of Charles II���s debauched court.
LIBERTINE���S KISS is by no means a light read, but those who, like me, seek romance novels with both historical accuracy and substance, will not be disappointed. A great historical romance read.