North and South: The Wild and Wanton Edition, Volume 2

Picking up where Volume 1 left off, this story continues the story of Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novel, North and South. In some ways, this second volume is even richer and a more enticing read. The relationship between Miss Hale and John Thornton has become complicated by the sensual relationship they are trying to hide and deny, and the labor conflict that serves as the backdrop to the romance is heating up too.

Brenna Chase does a spectacular job of preserving the tone and flavor of Gaskell's Victorian era novel while adding the vivid element of steamy encounters between two of the most compelling characters in English literature. Chase adds depth to John and Margaret, maintaining all of the bittersweet elements of their romance, yet adding the enticing elements we could only imagine when reading the original work.

When Margaret Hale is force to leave her beloved home in southern England to travel with her family to the northern industrial mill town of Milton, she finds herself at odds with fierce mill owner John Thornton. Though she loathes some of Thornton's attitudes and practices toward his employees, she cannot deny her fiery attraction to the man himself.

Book Blurb for North and South: The Wild and Wanton Edition, Volume 2

Margaret Hale’s life changes dramatically when her father quits his living as a parson in the idyllic New Forest in the South of England and moves the family to the northern industrial town of Milton, intending to become a private tutor. There, she is appalled at the poverty surrounding her and at first finds the local mill workers too rough, but soon she can’t help sympathizing with their plight.

John Thornton is a magistrate and owner of a prosperous cotton mill. Forced to become the head of the household at a young age and driven to keep his family from becoming impoverished again, he’s had no time for love. He certainly has no time for a lady who looks down on both him and the industry in which he earns his livelihood. Their beliefs lead them to inevitably clash, but their arguments over his treatment of his workers mask a deep attraction neither wants, and eventually, one that neither can deny.

Although it is labeled as a social novel, North and South simmers with sexual tension. Through the backdrop of a labor strike and a riot, through a possible murder and its fallout, through the deaths of loved ones, and the rise and fall of fortunes, the romance between John Thornton and Margaret Hale still entrances readers as it did when first published in 1855. In this updated version, read the steamy scenes that Ms. Gaskell, a minister’s wife, could not include in the original work, from John and Margaret’s first desperate, yet tender, lovemaking to their sizzling reunion in London.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2014 4.00