Caught in a rainstorm, Miss Calliope Worthington takes shelter in a seemingly abandoned mansion. But when she finds a string of pearls in a dusty chest, she is caught red-handed by the house’s reclusive owner—Mr. Ren Porter—a fiery demon of a man who demands that Callie pay for the necklace…with her innocence.
When he first lays eyes on the beautiful trespasser, Ren mistakes her for an angel. But when he realizes Callie is a thief, he strikes a bargain she cannot refuse. She must take his hand in marriage and pay him back in full: one night of passion for each stolen pearl. But when Callie surrenders to his desires—night after wicked night—he awakens something deep inside of her. Something powerful and passionate. Like a fairy tale come true, the monster she married has become the man she loves…when she said I do.
When She Says I Do is funny, touching, and inspirational. Celeste Bradley writes a masterpiece by weaving together equal parts erotica, romance, suspense, family dysfunction, and humor. Calliope Worthington is our heroine. She is the big sister to several very creative and boisterous siblings. The author does a very good job of describing the shenanigans that Calliope’s siblings pull. If you have siblings you immediately identify with the characters in this story. Calliope devotes herself to caring for her family because her parents are very eccentric to the point of being unable or unwilling to handle mundane tasks such as rearing children and caring for the home. The author portrays as Calliope as self-sacrificing, loving, and unselfish.
Lawrence Porter is physically and emotionally scarred sitting in his mansion waiting to die as he drinks his days away. He was nearly killed by members of his own spy team. He can’t seem to forget or forgive them for what they did to him and for not killing him. While sitting in his room nursing a bottle of liquor Lawrence hears what he believes is the voice of an angel singing a song. He stumbles down the hall and finds Calliope wrapped in a sheet and wearing jewels that were stored in the room.
From that point the sparks begin to fly on both sides and Calliope marries Lawrence to preserve her family’s honor and prevent her brother from killing him. “”Ren”” and “”Callie”” grow closer as Ren tries and fails miserably to avoid Callie except for their nighttime sexcapades. I cheered for Ren as he found himself running up the stairs to get away from Callie. Previously he hadn’t been able to walk the stairs without having stop because of the pain. I absolutely fell in love with the way the author let the plot unfold so that the reader sees the power of love to heal the soul and the physical body. Through a series of mishaps that involve poisonous ginger, a masquerade ball, gun shots, poisonous snakes, and a mechanical bird that spits fire Ren and Callie’s love perseveres.
I could not pull myself away from this story. I had to finish it. It was a fast paced read packed with romance, mystery, and hot sex. I found myself holding my breath as Ren finally unveils his scars to the people from the village. I didn’t want them to reject him. I remember feeling that way when my kid walked up to another child to play. I didn’t want him to get hurt if the child refused to play with him. That’s how emotionally invested I became in this storyline and these characters. I cried when Ren had to hurt Callie and send her away to keep her alive. I could literally feel her hurt. I tried to figure out who was trying to hurt her, and I wondered if Ren and Callie had been all their humps and bumps just to lose each other. I can’t say enough how much I loved this book and believe that anyone that loves romance would enjoy it just as much.
This is the kind of story that pulls you in and takes you along for the ride. So do yourself a favor, buy a copy, and buckle your seat belt.
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