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Truce: The Historic Neighbor From Hell (Neighbor From Hell #4), by R. L. Mathewson

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This is the story before everything… 

Elizabeth knows what’s expected of her, perfection. She’s the daughter of an Earl and expected to marry well, say and do the right things with a smile on her face when inside she’s dying for a chance to escape. Thanks to an inheritance her godmother left her years ago, her chance will come with her next birthday. Her hopes of escape abruptly end when Robert, her childhood nemesis that she hasn’t seen in over fourteen years, comes back into her life and does everything he can to drive her out of her mind even as he steals her heart. 

He hated her. 

At least, he tried to hate her, but it was so damn difficult to hate someone that he couldn’t live without. He tried to ignore her, tried to focus on anything but her, but nothing worked. Somehow she made her way into his heart and started to make him want things that he never though possible, made him smile and laugh even while she drove him out of his mind and started a legacy by turning him into…..

A Bradford.

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I had such a blast reading this book! It was so good, I read it in one seating. Which is not something that happens everyday.

I’ve had an ongoing crush on the Bradford men ever since I read Playing For Keeps. So of course, I was elated to see that there was a forth book to the serie, even though the genre of this book isn’t exactly like the first three.

In fact this book is a historical romance. But a word of caution about that. Historical romances aren’t usually my thing. I’ll read one book in the genre once in a while, but I don’t usually go for them. I do make exceptions when the book is written by an author that I already know and trust to write good stories. So I started reading Truce.

“Elizabeth? he asked, looking stunned. “Too far!” she said as if those two words would explain why a grown man was chasing his daughter. Evidently they did, because all three men laughed and nodded knowingly. She didn’t stick around to see if her father was going to help her. There was a madman chasing her after all.”

Now, it isn’t you’re regular historical romance book. If you are a die hard fan of the genre, you’ll probably find some things that will bother you in the writing, even though R. L. Mathewson did make an effort to write accordingly to the era. But there are some small slip-ups when it comes to the vernacular. It wasn’t a problem for me here, but it might be for some readers. Same thing goes for some of the things our protagonists do together and to each other, if you know what I mean. Again, it wasn’t at all a problem for me in this book, but some readers might not appreciate the impulsivity Robert and Elizabeth show at times, since it’s not the proper way to behave for a Lady and a Lord. So, if I had to make a comment about one thing in this book, it would be about that, even though it really didn’t bother me in the least. Quite the opposite actually.

“Elizabeth was curled up on her side. She looked like an angel, his angel. His minx. He had to hold her. Now. He raised the covers and crawled beneath them. He curled up against her body and gently pulled her against him, careful not to wake her and not really caring if he did.”

So, like I said, I’ve had a huge crush on the Bradfords even since I started reading about them (and a huge book crush on this serie if I’m being honest), and reading about how the Bradford family started was just as great.

I loved the characters! Robert and Elizabeth made me laugh and smile a lot early on in the book. I’m not sure if it was intended , but when I read their story, I could see their grand-grand-grand-grand-children’s story in it at times. For instance, Robert and Elizabeth’s antics when they were kids made me think a lot of what Connor and Rory’s. So I liked keeping an eye out for those little reminders while reading (even though it might all be just in my head).

  “ One day you’ll have to explain how you manage to eat so much. (…)She’d never seen someone eat so much food in one sitting. There were actually several maids that refused to wait on him, terrified that he’d accidentally devour their hands if they didn’t release the platters of food fast enough.”  

Robert’s Bradfordness isn’t as extreme as his grand-children’s, but you can definitely see where the Bradfords’ characteristics come from when you see Robert. I really liked him but there was a moment where I found him very cruel towards Elizabeth and that’s the only moment I wanted to slap him in the face. But then again, a Bradford is a stubborn thing and it takes them some times to get their mind out of the gutter. But they always eventually do right by their women so all was good. He steadily melted my heart when I reached the 65% mark on my Kindle until the end.

“The one universal problem he had, he couldn’t stomach the company of empty-headed women”

I loved Elizabeth character to bits. She is not an air-head and she is a fierce little thing. I really liked that her character stood out from the crowd. She doesn’t like or act like most women should in her society and she can’t wait to be emancipated and be her own person. When most women are looking for a husband to take care of them, Elizabeth doesn’t want to be someone’s property and she does everything in her power to avoid becoming just that. I really liked the fact that she isn’t your average lady in the London society. And she won me over when she brought a book with her at a party and escaped said party to go read.

“He couldn’t quite make out the words from the worn cover.“Which play?” Her whole face lit up. She obviously took great joy from her book. “‘As You Like It’ by Shakespeare. It’s my absolute favorite,” she said dreamily. Robert groaned. “I’m going to have to kiss you now.”

Robert and Elizabeth’s encounter was perfect and felt right. I really liked how it all unraveled between them in this scene and how the story went from there. There story isn’t all fluffiness either. Robert and Elizabeth have unfinished business if you will and because of their interactions in the past, they have emotional baggage to work on. Which is not easy to do when you realize that you fell in love with your “enemy”. But the way R. L. Mathewson handled it was perfect. I started this book because I was looking for a story that was going to make me smile and that would give me a happy feeling when I finished it. And even though there are some really emotional stuff in this book, the end result was the same and I had more than a great time reading Robert and Elizabeth’s story.

“When he didn’t respond she got nervous. She looked up slowly to see him practically shaking with rage. She gulped. Giving him a tentative smile she asked, “Too far?” Slowly, he nodded. “Oh dear.” She jumped to her feet and ducked just as he reached for her. For some reason she always went too far where he was concerned. It really couldn’t be helped thought, it was simply too much fun to pass up.”

And as usual, there is plenty of steam in this book too. Robert and Elizabeth are perfect for each other on this level too and when they come together (no pun intended) it is explosive and more than a little hot. It was funny to see that the Bradfords’ dirty talking skills started early on in the family. And not shy to try new things considering the time this story takes place in. I was kind of wondering how this was going to happen since the story takes place in the 18-something, but like I said, R. L. Mathewson did a good work by making her story enjoyable for both historical romances and contemporary romances lovers. If you are not stuck on genres, you should be alright I think.

“ Shhhh, not while I’m praying,” he said, momentarily losing his place before he started again, “thank you for letting us survive that trip from hell. Thank you for ignoring my prayers for a quick death when I didn’t think that I’d be able to survive another day of starvation,” he said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance.                     “You were given three full meals a day just like everyone else,” she pointed out, not bothering to mention the fact that, on most days, he’d received second helpings.”  

I really liked the little cameo and the very beginning and the very end of the book and I loved the epilogue. I cross my fingers and pray that there’ll be a fifth book! I need more Bradford stories…..or to get myself a Bradford all together, even though he’d be hard to feed. 

So for me this book was a great one that I would recommend to those who loved the previous books in the serie and for those who are looking for a good time.

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