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…
Genre: Historical Romance
Single Title/Series: Book two in the Passion Quartet.
Cover Thoughts: For a long time the cover wasn't to my liking, but after reading the novel, I'm amazed at how well it portrayed Matthew and Patience. I especially love the corseted female. She reminds me of many intimate scenes and I love how the Berkley art department took that into consideration. So, I'm recanting my earlier dislike. This is a beautiful cover and a lovely representation of the relationship within.
Why I Read It: I've read PASSION so many times in order to endure the long wait for its sequel that I had to buy a replacement for my tattered copy. Knowing that, no way was I going to miss out PATIENCE.
PATIENCE is the story of two strong-willed, independent creatures that have each been betrayed by those whom they trustingly gave their hearts only to be found lacking. Now, having brutally learned their lesson, neither is interested in repeating their previous pain but thankfully there's an undeniable pull that draws these two fated beings together. And once in each others arms, their well fortified walls begin crumble as if so much dust.
An incomparable beauty, Patience Emmalina Dare is coveted by all the male members of the ton. As they preen, peck and squawk their candidacy as potential suitors, they know not that their efforts fall upon deaf ears for Patience has no desire to belong to any man. Instead, her heart - her everything - belongs to her cello and the music she persuades from its strings for you see, her instrument could never forsake her, can never ever leave her thus providing the perfect guard against any who contrive to poach upon her love. However, despite Patience's instrumental guard, she also recognizes a deep-seeded yearning for one man that has the very real potential to obliterate all that she is but the secrets he dangles before her are utter temptation and they have her leaping for a glimpse of the freedom he offers.
Matthew Morgan Hawkmore, formally the second son of an earl but now a known bastard and recent social pariah of the ton, is grasping with white knuckles to the remaining pieces of his former life that he can still call his own. But there are those that would glory at seeing his financial demise and none is more hungry for that than Archibald Benchley - the Earl of Benchley and Matthew's would be father-in-law if news of his bastard birth had never made light. Accused of withholding his bastardy from "good society", Matthew has been snubbed by those he had once called friends and now to have his name and his honor slandered atop of the fierce financial crush that Benchley has heaped upon him, the desire for revenge has him swirling in an all encompassing darkness of anger and hatred. There is only one light capable of piercing through the black that is now Matthew's tarnished soul and that is Patience. Her goodness and her light calls to him, beckoning with sensual promise as well as soothing acceptance.
It's really no surprise that from an early age, Matthew recognized and cultivated a burning need and desire to sexually dominate. With evidence of his already controlling nature, his role as a sexual dominant is no coincidence for he's a man that inherently seeks control - needs control - and in his current uncontrollable and crumbling world this unequivocal need to dominate gravitates him on a very primal level towards Patience. As if viewing a mirror image of himself, Matthew recognizes a deep-seeded and complicated pain within her and his reaction to it is fierce. Ultimately, Matthew desperately craves Patience's absolute surrender; to strip her of all her fortified walls, crumble her resistance, and tear asunder the pain that has burdened her so greatly. Perhaps by unleashing and healing Patience, Matthew can heal his own dark pain and the only way he knows how to do this is by requiring her complete and utter submission.
Patience, nervous and unsure of the submission Matthew is demanding, follows him with a tentative trust. No man has ever demanded anything of her and while she should be affronted by his commands, instead Matthew brings to light a curious feeling that she's never before felt; one that awakens a previously dormant and unknown faucet of her nature that ultimately causes her to grasp hold of it with desperate hands and an aching heart. Soon, Patience finds solace in her submissive bonds. She no longer has to control her thoughts or maintain her strict independence for in truth they're not her nature. She was meant to be a nurturer, a calm example but instead she became closed off, seemingly un-needing of anyone but her cello. For years Patience has unknowingly forced herself into something she's not and with Matthew's help she's released from these constricting bonds of her own making and instead basks in the silken bonds of his dominance.
However, while Patience unveils hidden aspects of her personality, hauntingly painful moments in her past, as well as gifted Matthew with her complete trust, he's hidden a plan from her that could potentially tear apart their burgeoning relationship. His revenge scheme for his enemy, Archibald Bentley, has escalated to such a high degree that Matthew recognizes no moral bounds. It's kill or be killed in his mind and he has every intention of beating Benchley to the punch despite the fact that his conscience is saying he's wrong. There's strong evidence of this because Matthew does his absolute best to make sure that Patience is kept completely in the dark from his nefarious plotting. She is everything that is good and beautiful in his world and to make his plans known to her would only spell his doom. Instead, Matthew is so twisted with anger and hatred that he becomes nearly blinded by the revenge he seeks rather than the cling to the love he's already been given by the woman that longs to lighten his world.
Truly, what I think surprised me the most about PATIENCE, and it's not the unbelievable depths that Valdez explored with the D/s relationship between Matthew and Patience, but the fact that it didn't resemble PASSION in any way. Instead, the novel is compellingly unique and held its own superbly against its famous predecessor. That accomplishment in and of itself is rare and quite splendid. Bravo Ms. Valdez!
That being said, I must admit that I'm shocked at the negative reviews this novel has received. This was a daring work of art that was, for me at least, incredibly moving and beautiful to experience. Every moment meant something and I basked in the depth that Valdez took her characters as each and every barrier is sensually stripped to reveal the true Matthew and Patience. Even more shocking was that people were perplexed that Matthew discerns Patience's submissiveness seemingly "out of the blue". I disagree. There were plenty examples of Patience's unknown desire to submit. It was in her voice, her words, her false independence, and most importantly it was her reaction to Matthew. Extending beyond that, the relationship was explored slowly with Matthew giving Patience every chance to leave. How else could she have known of this desire? It's not like she knew the lifestyle existed. What did readers expect Matthew to do, ask her directly about a subject she knows nothing about? Have a discussion over tea? He's a sexual dominant who knows that he must dominate. He's been practicing for years thus helping him to recognize Patience's hidden nature.
The negativity, in my opinion, stems mostly from a simple dislike of D/s. I believe that you must have at least an appreciation for the Dominant/submissive dynamic in order to fully enjoy a novel of this nature. If this is not something you enjoy or desire to read, then you're only going to see it as derogatory and your inner feminist will rear its head and scream foul. The relationship that Valdez has written is fluent with the D/s stories that I've read and loved from the masters and to read it in a historical setting by such a passionate author was an absolute dream and one I will not be forgetting soon.
I've also had a friend email me saying that she didn't see the romance at all in PATIENCE and again, I'm shocked. For me, every word spoken, every touch bestowed, taken and demanded was romance. This is a novel that focuses nearly completely on the hero, heroine and their struggle. Its dissected and explored with graphic but sensual sex scenes that will most definitely leave you breathless if not squirming in your seat. From beginning to end, PATIENCE is romance, one that I will most certainly be returning to for seconds, thirds and more.
If you love intense romance with graphic sex, x-rated language, an uber alpha hero who also happens to be a sexual dominant, and a complex heroine who lives and breathes to submit to her hero, than PATIENCE is the historical romance for you.
Smexy Books: 1.5/5
Babbling About Books, and More: C
Leontine's Book Realm: 4/5