Amy Sandas's love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother's Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor's degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children near Milwaukee.
My Advice to Avenell and Lily
The hero and heroine in The Untouchable Earl come from very different sets of life experiences. Lily Chadwick has grown to womanhood within a close family, surrounded by the support and unconditional love of her sisters. Though she lost her mother when she was young and her father coped with his grief by losing himself in cards and liquor, she had her older sister to rely on and her younger sister as confidant. With this kind of acceptance and security, despite the significant challenges they faced as a family, she managed to maintain a sense of hope and optimism. Lily still found a way to believe in the goodness of people and their intentions.
The one thing she is less sure of, however, is herself. After struggling through the loss of her mother and the downfall of her father, she vowed to never be the cause of strife in her family. This prompted her to keep her personal ambitions and private yearnings under tight control. Her only outlet became a secret indulgence in a stash of erotic novels. By the time she first sets her gaze upon Avenell Slade, the Earl of Harte, she is desperate to experience the kind of passion she has read about in the quiet sanctuary of her bedroom. Though Avenell inspires a wealth of feelings in Lily, he also seems intent upon avoiding her at all costs.
Avenell, on the other hand, had none of the security and love that should be expected from family. Raised by his father until the age of seven, when that man shunned and disowned him, he has always been painfully aware of how quickly others would reject him if they ever knew of his private affliction. So he spends most of his life keeping a hard line between himself and others, letting no one get too close. Trust and friendship are alien concepts for Avenell whose life is centered upon self-preservation in a world that would ridicule and berate anyone who displays the slightest weakness.
In Lily, however, Avenell experiences something new. He wants to get close to her. He wants to let her into his world, but trust is difficult and intimacy nearly impossible. Still something about her continues to draw him in, even with his fear of her inevitable rejection hovering constantly over his head. It is passion and desire that brings them together, but something far more lasting takes hold before Avenell can prevent it.
My advice to Lily would be to have patience and compassion. Luckily, these are two qualities she holds in abundance. I would tell her to have the courage to reveal the truth in her heart at every opportunity so that Avenell may learn to accept it. And if it comes down it, to fight for what she wants.
For Avenell, I would ask him to also be patient; with himself and his own limitations. He cannot be cured of his affliction, but perhaps he learn of another way to manage it rather than avoidance. I would urge him to trust in what his heart is trying to tell him and take a risk on someone who has given him no reason to doubt her.
Thankfully, these two did not need my advice. It may take a bit of time and some heartache, but they both come to see that what they have in each other is worth the effort it takes to break down long standing walls in order to claim the prize within.
Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing by society’s rules. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who makes her breathless with terror and impossible yearning…Though the reclusive Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret—one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover’s touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he’s spent his life keeping the world at arms’ length. But there’s something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him…and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to seek to heal his troubled heart.
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