The Summary: (Goodreads, Amazon)
An Irish lass. An English lord. A love that overcomes all boundaries.
August Gryason has secretly dreamt of the girl living on his family’s Irish estate since childhoods spent together in Killarney. Now a proper Lord of the British Empire, he knows that Maeve could never be more than just a distant fantasy. Still, if only…
Maeve O’Connor owns nothing in this world but her good name, which proves just enough to win a proposal for a marriage of convenience to a good, Irish lad. Until the wedding, however, she’s in dire straits. Rent on the cottage she and her father share is due, but there simply isn’t the money to pay. Driven to desperation, Maeve hopes Lord Grayson, her childhood-chum-turned-dashing-English-rogue, will prove lenient when she comes seeking clemency. The temptation presented proves too much, and August offers Maeve a compromise: should she permit him twice as long on each succeeding visit to do whatever he wishes in pursuit of his pleasure, he will consider her rent paid. Starting with a mere five seconds, pulses soon out race the ticking clock, as August’s desires become Maeve’s own. Passion blinds them to the challenges closing in on both the Irish and English fronts, threatening to destroy the love they’ve discovered. Working to bridge that which divides them, tempting fate with each stolen kiss, and torn between desire and obligation, Maeve and August must strive to overcome all and find a love by any measure…
Read via: Epub, Tulipe Noire Press
Special Thanks to Killian McRae and Tulipe Noire
The market of historical romance is saturated with several standards: Regency era ballgowns that fall away due to hands on a pair of muscular arms, attached to a muscular, exposed chest. A Highland moor, a crashing surf, a castle wall, Victorian setting, Gothic setting, Renaissance setting…with (insert swooning woman, brooding man, and their half removed clothing) doing precisely the same thing. Over and over. For years. The stories are often filled with formulaic pose consisting of heaving bosoms, quivering hands, one high family and one family of good name on the bring of ruin.
Romances have captivated mankind for centuries, and someone argue that the endless dance of rising passions and sobering obstacles leave nothing to be new under the sun.
I counter that with the following:
1. A cover that should be on display in an art show.
2. Historical settings well researched.
3. Characters given such aching realism that you can’t help but become invested in their lives.
A Love By Any Measure tells the story of Maeve O’Connor and Lord August Grayson against the backdrop of Ireland, England,and Boston with highlighted years in 1866 and 1872. The differences in class are only a fraction of the things that keep Maeve and August from attaining a desire that once came to them in youth. This isn’t the common love found in run-of-the-mill stories. The main characters alternate at points in the story who is victim and who is victimized. The people in their lives stand to benefit or fail due to the decisions that they make. Enriching their meetings is a world rich in detail. McRae breaks apart the standards for the genre and brings out rich, fluid beauty to take us through the circumstance.
One of the things that made the story was the attention to historical detail; while there are major events touched on, the writer was able to capture an authentic tone for the social attitudes of the day. While every reader has their guilty romantic pleasures, there is a certain union that comes when the mind meets at the same intersection of the heart. Killian McRae balances the history in such a way that it makes a reader desire to learn more of what bubbles underneath the surface. This is a critical skill, and well done. The textbook is a human one, and from the eyes of the characters, you are able to see the effects of classism, political inequality, disparity, and the obligations of higher standing. Rare is it to find an author who is able to show us that the world surrounding is not one cut for romance. There is a sense of desperation that drives one on to survive even in a Killarney rising from the ashes. An expectation that breaks friendships, and backs. A sadness that carries over the Atlantic, and a second thought to leave you wondering if it all was truly worth it.
What made A Love By Any Measure as pleasurable as the moments passing in the exchanges between the two many characters was that taking me to the moments of white-hot passion were actions that spoke of true human beings. Another out-of-the-box genre moment, for it is often found that romantic leads far fall more under stereotype than familiarity with true experience. And for those that wonder if there are enough white-hot moments? The reader will not be disappointed. It is the way the leads are written than when they encounter the moments of their time agreement, and beyond, that leave the cheeks to blush and the mind to wander to places where lover’s dare to tread.
To conclude: There is a new girl on the block, ladies and gentleman, and she’s got the genre’s number. Look out, status quo. McRae is coming to break your door down. And she writes sci-fi, too!
Geeky Chic Grade: A+
1.) What drew you to becoming a writer, and what was the first inspiration you had for “A Love By Any Measure?”