Ellora's Cave; April 2007
After civil war leaves Highland lass Emily Sinclair alone and destitute, she finds work in the Lowlands as a governess in the home of the lecherous Lord Stockdale. No longer able to tolerate his lewd advances, Emily leaves with Stockdale's uncle, Edgar Armstrong, Earl of Callander, to be his traveling companion. Along the way, the two fall in love and are married.
Edgar is plagued with a debilitating disease affecting his legs, and his general health is slowly failing. He does not want to risk fathering a child with Emily because his doctors warn him the disease would certainly afflict his offspring too. Edgar is faced with a painful situation: If he dies without a son, his vile, unscrupulous nephew will inherit his title and power leaving Emily at his mercy. Edgar can think of only one solution and one man who can help them.
Angus MacNeill, a former Highland chieftain, is an indentured servant and groom to Lord Callander. He believes Emily married Edgar for his title and wealth, yet he longs to have her body and soul. Angus is shocked when Lord Callander proposes that he be the secret father of Emily's child. Though hesitant at first, he accepts the offer because he knows that is the only way to be with Emily, even if their time together will be brief. Emily desperately loves her husband and would do anything for him, including conceiving a child with another man to give him an heir. But when Emily falls in love with Angus too, Edgar's plan could mean the destruction of their marriage or the answer to their prayers.
I was captivated by Anchor and Storm from the first page, and actually a bit surprised by it. Menage is not my favorite sub-genre of erotic romance, so I don't read a lot of them. Anyway, I didn't expect Anchor and Storm to have such a touching love story. All of the characters were well-developed; even the secondary characters were engaging, and the villains were perfectly wicked.
The plight of the three main characters, Emily, Edgar and Angus, was both heart-breaking and moving. Their steamy love scenes and sensual menage encounters were tastefully written and blended nicely into the plot. I'm still not sure if the story had a HEA, but still, it was a wonderful story. Just like in real life, not everyone gets a happy ending. The conclusion brought tears to my eyes but was also quite satisfying. I would recommend Anchor and Storm to fans of unconventional historical romance and menage erotica.