January 19, 2015

REVIEW: The Awakening of Ivy Leavold (Markham Hall #1) By, Sierra Simone

Yorkshire, 1879

I am alone...

When Ivy Leavold is left destitute by her brother’s death, she is taken in by her cousin’s brooding, tortured widower—Julian Markham. Handsome and possessive, it’s not long before Ivy falls for him. But Mr. Markham has dark secrets, secrets that may put Ivy in danger...

I am afraid...

As Ivy unravels the mystery surrounding her cousin’s death, she falls deeper and deeper in love with Julian, who opens her body and her mind to his indomitable will. But even as he draws pleasure and desire from her night after night, Ivy can’t shake the feeling that their passionate affair may end in violence…

And I'm completely his.


The Awakening of Ivy Leavold is the first book in the Markham Hall Trilogy. It is 40,000 words. ***For Mature Audiences only**

While I have read my fair share of historical romances it has been a while since I have found one that I really enjoyed. The Awakening of Ivy Leavold was a story that sucked my in from the first chapter and kept me hooked throughout the entire story. Sierra Simone creates a story that is suspenseful, decadent, mysterious, and seductive. Markham Hall is a place that you find yourself wanting to visit even though you shouldn’t.

Ivy’s world is falling apart. She lost her parents years ago and was left in her older brother’s care. During those years he accumulated huge debts and when he died Ivy lost everything to pay them all off. Now with nowhere to go she is headed to her deceased cousin’s house, Markham Hall. She isn’t prepared for the mystery and the deaths that surround the house. Ivy also is ready for the dark and brooding Julian Markham. When she starts to learn the rumors of the Hall, Ivy has to decide if she is safe in her new home or if she is the next one to have a fatal accident at Markham Hall.

I liked Ivy’s character well enough. She wasn’t your typical historical romance heroine. While she was innocent she wasn’t as naive as the woman you usually find in these types of stories. She has been left alone for so many years she is not what a lady should be. She spends her time the way she wants and she talks to Julian the way she want to. Ivy has delusions about where her life is headed as a poor orphan so she has fun with the people she wants to especially Julian. My only problem with her, and I mean it’s small, is how quickly she moves from believing the rumors to completely dismissing them. She claims she loves Julian but the minute someone gives her new information on the deaths she believes them. It was just frustrating. I mean how do you love them and not trust them with anything expect your body?

Julian Markham is the head of Markham Hall. He has two widows. Two death that where rules an accident but the town believes he had something to do with. It doesn’t help that he is dark, mysterious, and comes off as dangerous. When he offers to have his late wife’s cousin stay in the house he just expects to give her somewhere to stay. What he doesn’t expect is Ivy. She lets him be him. She craves it even and the more time Julian spends with her the more he wants to consume her.

Julian is a difficult character. He is moody and sometimes really quite. You never know what you’re going to get from him. The moments that we get to see the real him, is pretty hot. He does everything he can to keep Ivy at arm’s length so that she can stay pure. He is convince that no one can handle the things he needs. Ivy shows him differently and watching learn that and then start to fall for her was sweet but also not sweet because there really isn’t anything sweet about Julian. Hot, sexy, and demanding yes but he can be sweet in his own way.

While the story was only told from Ivy’s POV I really felt like we got to not bits and pieces of the real Julian. Sometimes when the book isn’t written in dual POV connecting with the “hero” is hard but Sierra Simone gave me more than enough to connect and feel for Julian. The characters in this story are really interesting. Ivy and Julian are so different but they also complement each other so well. She craves his darkness as much as Julian needs her light. There are so many questions left unanswered that it makes you want to pick up the book. I have a few theories and I can’t wait to see if I’m right. I just hope that Ivy makes the right decision when it comes to Julian. I am more than ready for more from this series!

The Awakening of Ivy Leavold: Amazon ♥ Goodreads

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