In Ten Reasons to Stay, previously published in the anthology The School for Heiresses, lessons go far beyond etiquette and needlepoint. Eliza Crenshawe’s lesson is to look before she leaps. But when she discovers that her new guardian plans to marry her off without so much as a Season, she forgets all that. She flees—on a horse she unwittingly steals (oops!)—from Colin Hunt, a newly minted earl who wants nothing more than for her to go home…or stay forever.
I must confess, I haven’t read a lot of Sabrina Jeffries’ work. This is too bad, because Ten Reasons to Stay is very well-written. It was a quick read for me, as you would expect from a novella. However, it never felt as if its length was an issue. Ten Reasons to Stay is an interesting and entertaining story, and despite its short length, packs plenty of drama and intrigue into its pages.
I really enjoyed the hero and heroine. Eliza was a very strong-minded and strong-willed young woman. She could have come across as flighty and foolhardy with her tendency to make impulsive and rash decisions, however Ms Jeffries has managed to give her a real courage and confidence. Unwilling to be sold to the highest bidder to settle her nasty uncle’s debts, she attempts to steal a horse from Colin’s stables to escape, but is foiled by him in the process. I loved that Colin’s background was not hidden or glossed over. It isn’t very often that you read characters in historical romance with acknowledged biracial heritage. I would hazard a guess that Colin would not have been alone in his biraciality (my apologies, not even sure that’s a word) – people were however much less open than Colin about it. He was in some ways the typical brooding romantic hero, however scratching the surface shows a man with a lack of a sense of belonging and feelings of grief over the loss of his wife. Colin was a particularly interesting character for me because of his differences to the norm.
They have a lovely chemistry – sparks flew between them right from the start. The sexytimes, particularly when Colin’s Indian “artwork” is involved, were quite racy. It did swim a little in the “insta-love” river, however considering that it is a novella, the insta-love kind of worked.
After reading this, I am quite keen to check out a few more of Ms Jeffries’ books.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release Date: 6 May 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Pocket Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.