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Yours Until Dawn (2004)

Yours Until Dawn (2004)

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4.09 of 5 Votes: 3
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0060513659 (ISBN13: 9780060513658)

About book Yours Until Dawn (2004)

4.5 starsThis month’s TBR challenge is Romance Classics, a classic book, classic author, classic trope/theme etc. That’s rather an embarrassment of riches! The classics of HR that sprang immediately to mind were ones I’ve already read; Lord of Scoundrels, Flowers from the Storm, Whitney My Love and the like, so I discounted those - and got stuck. I then remembered that Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has done an occasional series which asked “which books should I read by X?” (X being an author with a large number of books to their credit), so I hopped over there and eventually found a book that's often recommended and is perhaps regarded as one of the best in the genre - and one that’s been languishing around on my Kindle for a while, unread, Yours Before Dawn.It’s not an especially long book, and I was so enthralled by it I read it in two sittings on the same day. The story revolves around Gabriel Fairchild, Earl of Sheffield, who – unusually for the eldest son of a noble house – served in the Navy and saw action at Trafalgar. During the course of the battle, and in a desperate (and obviously unsuccessful) attempt to save Nelson’s life, Gabriel was injured and lost his sight due to a severe blow to the head. Returned home, the woman he loved deserted him and his family has no idea what to do with him. He’s angry, frustrated and resentful, he blunders around without caring about the amount of damage he does to the furniture or himself, and shows absolutely no desire to adjust to his situation. The servants are scared of him, he barks at anyone who tries to help him and is very much a lonely “Beast” figure, holed up in his childhood home of Fairchild Park.At the beginning of the story, his butler and housekeeper are interviewing a young woman –Samantha Wickersham – for the position of nurse to his lordship. None of the nurses they have engaged so far have stayed around for very long, and they are becoming desperate. Samantha tells them that she has worked as a governess, and most recently with wounded soldiers at a London hospital, and they are persuaded to employ her. All is practically settled, until a series of bangs, crashes and bouts of yelling signal the Gabriel’s approach. He is surly, rude and orders Samantha to leave, but she refuses. He needs her help and she’s going to stay to give it, whether he wants it or not.At first Samantha faces opposition not only from Gabriel but from his staff as well. He can’t tell light from dark, night from day, and has ordered the curtains perpetually closed as there is no point – for him – in opening them. When Samantha tries to get the staff to help her to open them, clean, tidy and re-order the furniture in the rooms so Gabriel can navigate his way around without destroying either it or himself, they are reluctant to go against their master’s express wishes. So Samantha embarks on the task herself, eventually winning the staff to her side.Gabriel is stubborn, sometimes to the point of going against his own self-interest, but I got the impression that part of that is related to his refusal to accept the fact of his blindness; as if making adjustments to his life and learning to live without his sight mean that he had given up hope and accepts he will never see again.But Samantha won’t let him drown in self-pity, and proceeds to do and be exactly what he needs in order to stop him in his tracks and bring him back into the land of the living rather than the merely existing.The relationship between the two protagonists develops at a naturalistic pace, and is one of the best written I have ever read. The dialogue is stupendous, full of humour as it zings back and forth between them, and underscored with a growing tenderness and affection. For instance:”Weren’t you supposed to be back in London by now, plying your tender mercies at the bedside of some grateful sailor who would make calf’s eyes at you and propose as soon as he was back on his feet?”“And where would be the challenge in that? … I much prefer squandering my mercies on ungrateful bullies with beastly tempers. You know, if you wanted me to stay, there was really no need to cut your throat. You could have just asked nicely.”“And ruined my reputation for beastliness? I think not.”And later in the same scene:Of course, you’re not entirely perfect,” he added, nodding in the direction of the chair. “You do snore in your sleep.”“And you drool in yours,” she retorted, daring to touch a finger ever so briefly to the corner of his mouth.“Touché, Miss Wickersham! The lady’s tongue is as sharp as her wit. Perhaps you should summon the doctor before I start bleeding again.”The sexual tension between them is simply off the charts. But it’s completely in character, too; even when Samantha is drooling over the sight of Gabriel’s physique, there’s an injection of humour that feels completely right: “Samantha studied Gabriel's broad shoulders and muscled forearms, struck anew by what an imposing man he was. He could probably snap her delicate neck between thumb and forefinger. If he could find her, that is.”Gabriel is a delicious hero, gorgeous, charming, witty and clever with a vulnerable side which he masks with rudeness and arrogance. Ms Medeiros gives the reader valuable insight into his situation, both physically and emotionally when she allows us to see the difficulty he experiences doing ordinary things like handling cutlery and eating a meal, and when we’re privy to his hopes, fears and frustrations. There’s a sense, throughout, that Samantha is hiding something, and when the truth is revealed, at about three quarters of the way through the book, I can’t say I was completely surprised. But as I read, I started to wonder if I’d somehow strayed into a completely different book! Although I think the characterisation remained consistent given the situation that the Gabriel and Samantha were now in, the tone of the book seemed to change completely, and I had to knock my grade down a bit because of it.In spite of that, though, this is still a book I’d recommend most highly, for the depth of the characterisation, the warmth and sensuality of the romance and the sheer brilliance of the dialogue.

I first read YOURS UNTIL DAWN by Teresa Medeiros several years ago and it has remained one of my all time favourite historical romances. Warm, funny, heartrending, tender and sensual, re-reading it is one of my guilty pleasures.Gabriel Fairchild, Earl of Sheffield, is determined to show his fiancée that he has forsaken his rakish ways and is worthy of her love. To prove himself, Gabriel joins the Royal Navy but at the Battle of Trafalgar, he is wounded, leaving him facially scarred and blind. Deserted by his fiancée and an embarrassment to his family, he hides himself away at Fairchild Park, a bitter and angry man.He succeeds in scaring away all of the previous nurses hired by his father but the latest applicant, the prim and proper Miss Samantha Wickersham, is determined to help Gabriel come to terms with his blindness. So begins a battle of wills because Gabriel is equally determined to be rid of this tart, vinegary creature. Through sheer stubbornness and dedication, Samantha proves to Gabriel that, despite his blindness, life is still worth living. Although unable to see her face, Gabriel finds himself drawn to Samantha's inner beauty while Samantha falls for the tender and charming man beneath the belligerent exterior.Following a dramatic incident in which they almost die, Samantha and Gabriel finally admit their love for each other and share a passionate night together. But when Gabriel's sight starts returning, Samantha secretly leaves, knowing that she cannot be part of his new life. Gabriel is devastated but determined to move heaven and earth to find the woman who has captured his heart!Gabriel definitely fulfills my penchant for tormented, brooding heroes. He is a man without hope living in a dark and lonely world where the trappings of civilized behaviour no longer matter. He hides his vulnerability behind a show of arrogance and biting retorts such as his reply when Samantha tells him she's there to help him adjust to his new circumstances:"What if I don't want to adjust? What if I just want to be left the bloody hell alone so I can rot in peace."Ms Medeiros provides a real insight into the problems of being blind, things which I had never appreciated before. When Gabriel suddenly wakes up, he has no way of knowing whether it is day or night and when Samantha takes him to task for not using a knife and fork, he explains that they are difficult to manage because if he can't feel the food, he can't find it. All things a sighted person takes for granted.The battle of wills between Samantha and Gabriel provides for some sharp and really funny dialogue. Here are a couple of my favorites:"Good morning, my lord," Samantha said smoothly, sliding into a chair well out of his reach. "You'll have to forgive Mr. Beckwith. He obviously had some pressing duties."Scowling, Gabriel settled back in his chair, "Let's hope they include forging some letters of reference and packing his bags. Then the two of you can return to London together.""So tell me Miss Wickersham, as my new nurse, which duty would you like to assume first? Would you like to feed me?"Eyeing the wolfish white flash of teeth as they tore another hunk of meat off the chop, Samantha said, "Given enthusiasm for your victuals, I'd be a little worried about getting my fingers that close to your mouth." I love Samantha because she is just what Gabriel needs to jolt him out of his apathy. At first, Beckwith, Mrs Philpot and the other servants refuse to disobey their master's orders but Samantha has no such qualms. She re-arranges the furniture to make it easier for Gabriel to navigate through the house and throws open the windows. She only falters once when Gabriel comes up with another scheme to rid himself of her by constantly ringing a bell day and night and having her do all sorts of mundane things such as fluffing his pillow. I love Gabriel's reaction when she finally says she's had enough of his ridiculous demands and is resigning:"Miss Wickersham, get back here this instant! That's an order!"" I quit," she tossed back over her shoulder, savage glee coursing through her veins. "I'm not obliged to take your orders anymore!" Ignoring his spluttering, Samantha marched out the door slamming it behind her with grim satisfaction. I like the way Ms Medeiros slowly develops the relationship between Samantha and Gabriel which makes it more realistic. My favourite scene is the one in the ballroom because it is both romantic and sensual. I could really feel the passion between them:Suddenly she was the beggar at the feast – a feast of the senses her body had been denied for so long. She wanted to gorge herself on him, sate her every craving with the fulsome delight of his kiss. Ms Medeiros paints such memorable and vivid pictures but it is the little details which seem to linger in my mind: Beckwith and Mrs Philpot trying to push Samantha out of the French windows before the approaching Gabriel enters the room; Gabriel's indelicate table manners; Samantha running a fingertip along the scar on Gabriel's face; Gabriel lounging in bed wearing only a rumpled cravat; the game of blind man's bluff; the ultimate in romantic epilogues.The secondary characters all add depth to the story and I have to mention Sam, the little terrier, who captured my heart with his antics. This book has a really surprise twist which I certainly didn't see coming when I first read it. On subsequent readings, I found clues were there but I had simply been too engrossed in the story to interpret them correctly.A wonderful love story with unforgettable characters, YOURS UNTIL DAWN is pure magic; a treat that no lover of historical romance should miss! review was originally written for The Romance Reviews (TRR)

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Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book BlogI really cannot get enough of Teresa Medeiros' works! I mean, she really knows how to create very heartwarming and very sensual romantic books and “Yours Until Dawn” is certainly no exception! “Yours Until Dawn” is the third book I read from Teresa Medeiros and it is about how a governess named Samantha Wickersham tries to help Gabriel Fairchild, who had lost his sight during the war, to cope with his blindness while loving him every inch of the way! Get ready for sparks to fly and romantic fires to burn because “Yours Until Dawn” is definitely a romantic novel you do not want to miss!Gabriel Fairchild was known as a war hero in London, but unfortunately, the war cost him his sight and all his hope of ever seeing again. So, Gabriel barricaded himself at Fairchild Park since he cannot bear to face society in the condition he is in. However, when a proper nurse named Samantha Wickersham comes to Fairchild Park to take care of Gabriel, Gabriel starts to fall in love with Samantha. Unfortunately, the two lovers will soon realize some secrets about each other that might put their relationship in jeopardy!Whew! I am just fanning myself here because this book is definitely SIZZLING HOT!! Teresa Medeiros has certainly done an excellent job with describing her characters here as she goes into great detail about each character's personalities. I think the two characters that truly stood out the most in this book were Samantha Wickersham and Gabriel Fairchild, since both characters had secrets that will shock anyone who read this book! I love the way that Teresa Medeiros realistically portrays Gabriel's hardships with coping with his blindness because that is the trait of Gabriel that makes him a truly believable character and I usually found myself sympathizing with his condition, especially when he confesses to Samantha that he lost someone very dear to him because of his blindness and I just found myself feeling sorry for Gabriel at that point of the book. I also loved the character of Samantha herself as she seems like a mysterious person who who hides a tragic secret from Gabriel and you find yourself wondering about what her big secret is! Let me tell you, her secret is so shocking that I found myself being so surprised about what she was keeping from Gabriel. What I loved the most about Samantha's character is that she is a strong and determined heroine who is willing to take Gabriel's insufferable arrogant manner in order to make him see that life is still worth living, even when he is blind. Now onto the juicy bits of this book! There are many sexual scenes between Samantha and Gabriel that will make any romance novel fans' hearts go aflutter. My favorite passage from this book that describes Gabriel is in this passage:“Samantha studied Gabriel's broad shoulders and muscled forearms, struck anew by what an imposing man he was. He could probably snap her delicate neck between thumb and forefinger. If he could find her, that is.”I just love the way that Teresa Medeiros goes into detail about how strong Gabriel is in both appearance and strength.For those of you who do not like sexual content, this book contains a great deal of sex scenes between Gabriel and Samantha. Also, the reason why I gave this book a four star instead of a five star rating is because I felt that Gabriel and Samantha spent almost 90% of the book arguing with each other rather than loving each other and I usually love romance novels where the characters occasionally argue with each other, but try to support each other the best that they can. I will admit though, that I did like the fact that Gabriel and Samantha took their time in knowing each other rather than jumping headfirst into a relationship.All in all, “Yours Until Dawn” is definitely a book that will shock, warm and touch you all at the same time and I am sure that this book will definitely be an instant treat for Teresa Medeiros fans and romance novel fans everywhere!

Ooh la la, who knew a blind, badly scarred man could be so sexy? Sigh...I absolutely love, want to hug and kiss this book, it made me so happy:) This was my first time reading anything by Teresa Medeiros and I inhaled it. I bought this for my kindle over a year ago and didn't really want to read a story about a man who was blinded at war. It had "tortured hero" written all over it (I hate tortured heroes). Somehow, despite it being sad that he was dealing with this affliction, this was one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Gabriel was the best tortured hero - sarcastic and witty and very loving under his tough exterior. Samantha, our mysterious heroine, was hired to be his nurse. She was also tough as nails with him, helping him to learn how to live with his blindness and get on with his life. Their banter was so funny, I was laughing out loud so much - it was pretty hard to hold back. That's actually another thing I don't usually like - couples fighting and bickering constantly. The only other book where this tortured hero/scarred and disabled hero/lots of fighting couple worked out for me was . So it's hard to give a review without revealing too much. There were some great twists and turns - one I didn't see coming and I love when that happens. The fact that Gabriel is blind is not even what the book is really about. Although it's a big problem, there's so much more going on - things I can't write about - but all I can say is: I LOVE THIS BOOK!

Gabriel Fairchild, the Earl of Sheffield, was once a renowned rake, who stole women's hearts with but a flash of his devilish smile, who fell eagerly into his bed with but a flick of his wrist. Whose perfect visage, and irresistible charm, made him a man every woman swooned over, determined to catch. Until he lost his own heart to the most stunning beauty of the season, whose delicate visage and shy smile captured his soul, making him yearn to become a better man in her eyes. He joined the Royal Navy determined to prove to his beloved that he was truly a man worthy of her love and her hand, . . . and lost everything, his heart, the woman of his dreams, and his sight.Now Gabriel wonders the darkened halls of his family estate like a caged animal, trapped in a darkness he cannot escape. Devoid of his family, his love and his sight, he no longer believes life is worth living, until Miss Wickersham.Samantha Wickersham has her reasons for applying for the position as nurse to the reclusive and troubled earl. But when she meets Gabriel, discovering he has become a dark and bitter man, she becomes determined to give him back his life. But never did she dream she could be so easily seduced by his legendary charm, or that she would give him a reason to live with one passionate kiss stolen in a moment of complete desperation. As she guides him back into the world of light and laughter, Samantha soon discovers that her heart is not her own, and the man beneath the scarred visage is more tender and seductive than she ever dreamed. Samantha has but one glorious night of passion to give him, surrendering all to his love and his touch, before she must leave him, forever. But things are not always as they seem . . . Yours Until Dawn is absolutely marvellous! Teresa Medeiros' writing is pure magic. No one brings such fascinating and complex characters to life like her. You cannot help but mourn the loss Gabriel Fairchild has endured. Not only his sight, but his heart, and woman he once loved with all his soul. Samantha Wickersham is the perfect young miss to guide him through his world of darkness into the glorious light of love and happiness. And never was there a more perfect ending. Yours Until Dawn will keep you reading until the wee hours of the morning.
—Ingela Hyatt

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