"Bound by Your Touch" - Meredith Duran - 2009

Between yard sales and a good stash from a local used book sale my TBR pile has grown slightly out of hand.  To combat this, I spent some time separating and organizing romances into boxes of historicals, anthologies, series, contemporaries, and a special 'read first' section of well-reviewed books.  "Bound..." was my first pick from this box.

Duran is a new author who's made quite a splash - and if her other novels are anything like "Bound by Your Touch" it's well deserved.  In a time of wallpaper historicals and popular historical authors trying their hand at contemporaries, I'm very encouraged to see and excited to read more from Duran. 
I spent a big chunk of this hot and stuffy weekend on the couch attempting to stay cool while losing myself in this book.  I admit I've had romance ADD the last few months, but I finished this in a matter of days, reading it at every opportunity.  I loved the hero and heroine, not because of their attributes but for their flaws.  James lives everyday to torture his father - acting out more as a modern day rebellious teen than a future noble landholder.  In fact his first appearance is during a wild opium drenched party, where he finds his head just enough to remember his plans to embarrass his father.  This involves some Egyptian antiquities and leads to meeting the heroine Lydia.

She is a spinster managing two younger sisters - one married, one trying to get married, who also handles her father's business dealings while he is away in Egypt.  Let's just say she isn't happy with the interruption from a drunken James - but an unlikely relationship develops.  The love story feels very real - both characters have problematic family histories that direct their everyday choices - and it's these issues they must confront and accept before they can find happiness together.  Plus there's a fabulous scene on an East End rooftop that I just loved.

Duran found a nice mix of lust and angst that never became melodramatic, but rather burgeoned into a powerful, believable love story.  I look forward to her reading her novels already in print and especially to Phin's story, "Written on Your Skin."