From the BLURB:
A WOMAN CALLED PATIENCE. A DESIRE THAT WOULD PUT HER NAME—AND HER LOVE—TO THE TEST.
Known for her exceptional beauty, Patience Emmalina Dare has been pursued by admirers ever since coming of age. But suitor after suitor fails to inspire her love – or her desire. Certain she will never find a man who touches her deeply, she decides to forgo marriage in favor of pursuing her music. But just when Patience thinks she has her life well in hand, a passionate kiss with her enigmatic brother-in-law awakens a powerful need in her. How will she reconcile her desire for him and her desire for a life that's her own – and what will she do when he shows her a deep and hidden part of herself that she never knew existed?
When the secret of his illegitimate birth pushes Matthew Morgan Hawkmore from his place in society, the darkly handsome half-brother of the Earl of Langley plots his resurrection and his revenge. Betrayed and abandoned by the women he believed loved him, he swears to never again be controlled by love. But despite his vow, he is unable to resist the beautiful Patience, whose strength and self-reliance hide a need that he is perfectly suited to fulfill. Can he have her without loving her? What will he give up to keep her? And will her passionate surrender be the one thing that can stop him from making a tragic mistake that could destroy them both…
Matthew Morgan Hawkmore has just been ousted as the bastard son of his mother’s gardener. He has lost his title, his fiancée and his pride. Meanwhile, his elder brother Mark is living in wedded bliss to the woman of his dreams. The one plus to Mark marrying Passion Dare is that Matthew is now family to her delectable little sister, Patience. Patience of the fiery red hair, sensual mouth and kind nature. Now that they are related through their siblings, it’s impossible for Matthew to ignore his lust for Patience . . . with her he can explore his dominant side, and introduce her to the bliss of submission.
But Matthew still lives in ton society and is trying to claw his way out of the social faux pas his bastardry has created for him. He needs to navigate a social landmine that could see him lose his business and his standing in society, especially if his ex- fiancée’s father has anything to say about it . . .
‘Patience’ is the second book in Lisa Valdez’s ‘Passion Quartet’ series. I was warned about this follow-up being a little let-down from the outstandingly luscious ‘Passion’. I thought a lot of fan ire surrounded the fact that ‘Passion’ came out in 2005, while ‘Patience’ was only released last year . . . but having now read this second instalment, I can see that it was more than just a frustratingly long interim that displeased fans.
Passion and Matthew have a similar relationship-start to Mark and Passion in that it is quickly ignited. Mark and Passion met at London’s Crystal Palace exhibit. Matthew and Patience meet because of their sibling’s betrothal – and it’s a temptation neither of them can ignore. Living in close quarters and meeting at family events, Matthew succumbs to his lust and seduces Patience. And with her, Matthew unleashes his dominant side and ignites Patience’s desire for submission.
BDSM in the 1800’s is a little saucy, but the attraction is mostly sexual rather than charismatic. Patience and Matthew connect on a sexual-level, but their affection for one another feels rushed and artificial. Matthew decides very quickly that he is going to marry Patience; and honestly it was so rushed I felt reader whip-lash. Although Valdez throws in many declarations of love between the two, I still wasn’t buying it. In fact, I found such declarations overtly syrupy and I couldn’t help but giggle at their outlandishness;
The gold in his hair gleamed in the sunlight. “I will never leave you. You and I are forever.”His words made her eyes sting even more. Her tears fell.“What if there is no earthly forever, Matthew? What if forever only exists in heaven and fairy tales?” She drew a shuddering breath. “What if our forever, isn’t really forever?”Matthew’s dark eyes caressed her. “Love is eternal, Patience.”
One of the great things about ‘Passion’ was the twisted concurrent plotlines that crashed together into a brilliant finale. While also writing about Mark and Passion’s meeting and falling in love, Valdez included a storyline about Mark being blackmailed into marriage with another woman . . . it heightened everything, the foreboding was nail-biting and the conclusion all the sweeter. But it feels like Valdez missed a few potential plot twists in ‘Patience’.
There is a small point of contention concerning Matthew’s suffering business, thanks to his illegitimacy. But to be honest, the business side of things was boring and clerical. Things could have picked up when Matthew’s ex-fiancée, Rosalind, showed interest in rekindling their relationship. Matthew could have been much more duplicitous in his dealings with Rosalind, and Valdez really could have heightened tension for readers by tempting Matthew to ruin Rosalind in a bout of revenge (but at what price to Patience?). I honestly thought that was where the storyline was going – towards a love triangle between Matthew/Rosalind/Patience. Sadly, no. Where Valdez wrote an intensely twisted plot in ‘Passion’, she misses the mark with ‘Patience’.
Valdez fails to deliver a satisfying follow-up to her brilliant ‘Passion’. The romance between Matthew and Patience is mostly compiled of good sex, making their relationship somewhat hollow. The BDSM storyline is titillating, but repetitive ‘tie-me-up-tie-me-down’ sex scenes, in the absence of a more interesting plot, means ‘Patience’ is a lukewarm historical romance. And it’s a real shame because ‘Passion’ was such an outstanding first-outing from Valdez. Hopefully things pick back up with third book ‘Primrose’.