This was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the mean...moreThis was hands down,the best in the series. Yes, that's a bold statement, but I fully stand by it -- review to follow on the release date. In the meantime, go read the first two so that you won't be lost when you snag this one ;)
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 28, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: http://www.brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes – Bulletproof Book 1 Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Holy wow. This book was absolutely fantabulous!
Pulse-pounding action, police corruption, a spurned lover, and deadly gangs out for revenge, all paired with a delicious romance make this a novel that can’t be missed. Despite some concerns I might have had with the epilogue, this is hands-down a must-read, and I gladly give it a very solid 5/5 Stars.(less)
I come to this series as a virgin reader (heh). I’ve never read anything...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
I come to this series as a virgin reader (heh). I’ve never read anything by C.E. Murphy, and as such, I am reviewing this story based on how well it works as a standalone work.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I definitely want to go back and read the rest of the series despite knowing how a lot of the situations will end up through references made in this story. I enjoyed the first person POV, and even when things got “weird”, I was still able to follow along fairly easily.
While there were a few loose ends that bothered me (but forgivable, since this is obviously part of a series/continuity), and there was something I fe...moreWhile there were a few loose ends that bothered me (but forgivable, since this is obviously part of a series/continuity), and there was something I felt was a bit misleading that I can't mention because it's a major spoiler (gah!), it was still a really enjoyable friends-to-lovers story.
Lighthearted and sweet, with just enough conflict to keep things interesting, a solid 4/5 Stars, with a full review to follow. (less)
I almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there was...moreI almost fell over myself when I saw this one on Netgalley, because I love Shona Husk's writing, and was a big fan of Dark Vow.. I'd no idea there was even a sequel in the works, so I knew immediately that I had to read this one.
Quite dark, with some very heavy issues at hand, it was just as good as the first, if not better. I loved Haidyn *dreamy sigh*
Expected Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Crescent Moon Press Imprint:...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 1, 2012 Publisher: Crescent Moon Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://lynnrush.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift From The Author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Wasteland Series Best Read In Order: Yes, but worked okay as a standalone Steam Level: Warm Pet Peeves: Ancient/Immortal Paired With Young Mate, Forced Nudity Favorite Tropes: Plane Crash, Fated To Be Mated, Physically Imperfect or Scarred, Mute
I have read the first book in the series, but it’s been a long time, with a lot of books in between. Even so, I was able to keep up fairly well early on, and while I would recommend reading the series in order, I think that this one stands reasonably well on its own, all things considered.
Readers should also be aware that this is considered “Upper YA” or “New Adult”, and does feature some not-quite-closed-door lovemaking, though it’s written in a way that’s considered very mild by today’s romance novel standards.
I loved the blend of action and romance, and the fact that I was a huge fan of Annabelle from the moment that she appeared on the pages didn’t hurt either. The pacing was wonderful, with just enough “down time” between action sequences for both readers and characters alike to be able to catch a breath, but not so much that anything felt like it dragged.
While I do wish the romance would have been a bit steamier, I knew going into it that this was a New Adult romance, and as such, would be a lot lighter on the heat level than the books I typically read, so that was a very minor point.
Overall, I loved it, and am really looking forward to picking up the final book in the trilogy, TAINTED, which just came out earlier this week.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.com.
Expected Release Date: December 6, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Signet Author’s Website: http://www.amandabonilla.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Shaede Assassin Series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Utterly alone in the world, assassin Darian is a Shaede — a being who can dissolve into shadows, move with unbelievable speed, and who cannot be killed. Having been created and later abandoned by the man who rescued her from an abusive marriage almost a hundred years prior, she has learned to rely only on herself, reinventing herself as a notorious assassin known for avoiding innocent targets.
However, her next mark will cause her to question everything she has accepted as truth, and in accepting the job, sets her along a path that will change her life forever.
I originally heard about this book on another blogger’s Waiting On Wednesday, which is a meme that highlights upcoming books that bloggers are excited about. I was lucky enough to snag an advanced reader copy, and let me tell you, I was absolutely blown away. I, quite literally, could not put this book down. I read it in line at the grocery store, I read it while I was cooking dinner, I read it while folding laundry, I read it propped up in bed that night. In fact, there was quite a bit of angst for me at the end when I realized that I would have to wait until July for the next installment in the series, despite the solid feeling of resolution at the end.
While not without faults, Darian’s character and the world as a whole sucked me in and refused to let me go. The first person point of view allowed the reader to experience first-hand the frustration, loneliness, heartbreak, and love that Darian went through over the course of the novel, and the high level of action and intrigue kept my attention from the very beginning.
Darian is a badass, no doubt about it, but her arrogance that served her so well in the past suddenly becomes a huge liability, and she has to learn to rely on others, as well as to sift through truths and lies in order to discover just what it will mean for her to become part of the Shaede community.
The world that Ms. Bonilla created is utterly fascinating, and the two main love interests, Tyler and Xander, were able to hold their own even against Darian’s oft-overbearing presence.
Recommended for fans of fast-paced, original Urban Fantasy, of strong heroines suddenly thrown completely out of their element, and of a sweet, albeit complicated, love story. A delightfully solid 5/5 Stars.
What worked for me: * A prison planet with ruthless social dynamics and a toxic mine that ensures a horrible death sentence to all...moreI. Loved. This. Book.
What worked for me: * A prison planet with ruthless social dynamics and a toxic mine that ensures a horrible death sentence to all humans sentenced to reside there. * A cunning thief as one of the heroes, who isn't magically smarter, stronger, and just overall better than others. I loved that Aleron made mistakes just as any other human would, rather than being this paragon among prisoners * Jasak. Oh Jasak. Why must you be attracted to men? You and I could have had a beautiful life together if only you were interested in those of the female persuasion lol I adored Jasak. A man of true honor is a rare thing, but couple that with a good dose of bloodthirstiness and primitive drive and you make me want to purr. * The love scenes were very well done, and not a single one was gratuitous. * I also thoroughly enjoyed the subplots and intrigues and politics that staged the background of this story.
What didn't work for me: * I didn't like the fact that Jasak already had a mate, even though there was absolutely 100% zero chance of them ever being together. This almost made his and Aleron's relationship feel like an adulterous one to me. As bad as it sounds, I think I would've preferred for his previous mate to have been killed before he was sent to Tantoret.
Overall, however, I absolutely adored this story, and as such, say 5/5 Stars, hands down.(less)
I come to this series as a new reader. Having never read any of the Sabine Kane series, I was concerned that I would hav...moreReviewed for The Romanceaholic
I come to this series as a new reader. Having never read any of the Sabine Kane series, I was concerned that I would have a hard time following the story line, or that I would be too lost to want to continue. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this novel works just fine as a standalone.
What worked for me:
I love the mythology, with the vampires having descended from Cain and Lilith. I have to admit that Sabina’s potty mouth is incredibly endearing to me. I love her temper and her snarky attitude, as well as her quirky sense of humor. Can I just say how much I adore Adam? *swoon* As much as I loved Sabina, I have to say the colorful secondary characters are what really made this story. the ending was explosive, with action and angst worthy of the big screen. What didn’t work for me:
A few of the minor characters did get a bit confusing, as all characters in this story were “new” to me, so it was at times a bit hard to keep track of everyone There was most definitely a Too Stupid To Live moment, or at least a Too Stubborn to Live one, which always annoys me in romances. While I definitely think that this novel was able to hold its own as a standalone novel, I will say that my recommendation would be to read the series in order. It’s obvious that as a new reader, I missed out on some exciting back story, including some of the group dynamics. Even so, I was able to follow along very well, with only a bit of minor confusion surrounding some of the minor characters.
Overall? I was highly entertained by this novel and would recommend it to any Urban Fantasy fan. 5/5 Stars (less)
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing I...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 31, 2012 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Imprint: Forever Author’s Website: http://kristencallihan.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book #2, Darkest London Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
I previously read and enjoyed the first novel in this series, FIRELIGHT, and so I was very excited to see Daisy and Ian get a story together. I was not disappointed. Ian was a wonderful hero, with surprising depths, and I greatly enjoyed being able to explore the inner workings of the Lycan pack that had only been hinted at in the previous book.
Daisy was a lovely heroine in her own right, with a terrible marriage and not-so-wonderful childhood giving her just enough emotional vulnerability that to balance out her natural passion and vibrancy.
While I did benefit from having read the first novel, I do think that Moonglow stands on its own quite well, and that newcomers to the series will be able to pick it up without any real confusion.
Overall, I think I may have actually enjoyed this one more than the previous book in the series, and have very high hopes for the next installment. Recommended for fans of fresh historical paranormal romance with exciting mythology, alpha heroes struggling against burdens of the past, and of abused heroines reclaiming their own strength and identity.
Expected Release Date: March 20, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Aut...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 20, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://kaseymichaels.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
I was so, so torn on the rating of this one. I liked Tess as a heroine. Certainly, she had her issues, but she was a very sympathetic character for multiple reasons. Jack, on the other hand, had me wanting to commit acts of violence against his person for about 90% of the novel. He was unnecessarily cruel and stubborn, and while I understood that he’d had quite a tortured past, there were many times that I found myself quite unsympathetic of his character.
While I enjoyed Tess’ character, and surprised myself by enjoying the little twist from Jack’s past, I couldn’t quite get past Jack’s character to really enjoy the story. Add to that the too-tidy ending of a major story arc from the series, and I found that this was probably my least favorite installment to the series, though it honestly pains me to say so.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a lovely amount of angst, an interesting intrigue involving Tess’ father, and some wonderful cameos of Jack’s family. However, this one seemed to lack some of the lighthearted humor I’d come to expect from the series, and coupled with my dislike of Jack, this one ended up being a bit of a disappointment.
Expected Release Date: August 9, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Du...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 9, 2011 Publisher: Penguin Group Imprint: Dutton Author’s Website: http://juliegarwood.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Steam Level: Steamy
**REVIEWER’S NOTE** This was an uncorrected advanced copy, so it’s possible that some details may be changed by the publication date.
I do believe that I am now officially a Julie Garwood fangirl. *nods decisively*
Ellie was a child prodigy, with a tortured past. Intelligent beyond her years, she attracted a deranged stalker at the tender age of 11, making her life a living hell; multiple attacks, restraining orders, and finally being sent out of state to live with strangers in order to protect both her and her family has left a mark on her that no amount of education or professional success can erase. When she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent, she’s suddenly thrust into danger yet again, despite the fact that she cannot make a positive identification.
Max bursts into her life as an FBI agent attached to the case, and the sparks fly between them. They both know that nothing can come of a relationship — she lives in the midwest while he lives in Hawaii — and yet neither can resist the other. When she flies back to her childhood home for her sister’s wedding, she faces not only the threat of being silenced before she can take the witness stand, but also of having to face her childhood nemesis, the deranged stalker who has until that point dropped off the face of the earth.
Overall, I absolutely adore it. There was enough action to keep me on my toes, blended beautifully with just enough romance and steam to keep me intrigued.
The ending was also absolutely lovely. After reading the last line I literally said “awwww” and closed the book with a smile, and that more than anything is why I cheerfully give this book 5/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira A...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Bulletproof series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone, but read Inside first anyway. Steam Level: Steamy
Laurel Hodges has been on the run for the past four years. Having been hunted by members of a ruthless street gang, The Crew, in order to exact revenge on her brother, Virgil, she entered the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC), hoping that they would be able to protect her and her two young children. When a corrupt official leaked her location, she was attacked and barely escaped with her life. Abandoning WITSEC, she has once again changed her identity and moved her family to the small, idyllic town of Pineview, Montana.
Always careful to never reveal too much about her past, or to leave trails that could lead The Crew to her or her brother, she now exists as Vivian Stewart, and has finally begun to rebuild a life for herself and her two children.
Sherrif Myles King, Vivan's handsome and widowed next door neighbor, has been strongly hinting that he wants to date her, yet Vivian is still too wary about becoming involved when she knows that she and her children may have to pick up and leave at any moment.
Just as she gives in to her longing for companionship, however, her past comes roaring back into her life when a gruesome murder shocks the small community.
Knowing that she cannot risk putting Myles in danger, she attempts to distance herself from him, but Myles refuses to stand back and let something amazing slip through his fingers. When The Crew brings the fight to their front door, Myles and Vivian team up to make their final stand.
As much as I enjoyed Inside, the first novel in this series (which also RECEIVED A 5/5 STAR RATING FROM ME), I think I may have actually enjoyed this one even more. Despite my intense disappointment that Vivian/Laurel didn't end up with Rex as her hero, I quickly fell in love with Myles and realized that Rex never would've made an ideal mate for her. I was also thrilled with the way Rex's situation was handled, and that he wasn't made out to be a bad man. I'd fallen in love with him myself over the course of the first novel, and sincerely hope that he will feature heavily in the next novel, In Close, due out in October.
Ms. Novak has an incredible skill for allowing you inside of her character's minds and motivations, and never makes things purely black and white. All of her characters, even ones who seem that they should read as though they had no depth, are painted in a wide array of shades of gray, making you care about people that you normally wouldn't think twice about, and rooting for characters that by all rights you should absolutely hate.
The love scenes were fairly tame in terms of detail, but the emotion behind them helped to create a very strong sense of eroticism, and most importantly, you could feel the romance behind every action, even when the characters themselves were resisting it.
The suspense was incredible, with several surprising twists, including some revelations about various characters that have played a part throughout the series thus far.
Overall, I simply could not put it down. The suspense, the action, and the romance all sucked me in from the very beginning and would not let me go until the very last page.
Don't forget to CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE as well! If you purchase this book before September 7th, send her the receipt and she will send you a free autographed copy of Inside, the first book in the series! This is an incredible opportunity, because as I mentioned, while this book might work well as a standalone, I do suggest you read Inside first not only because the main characters of the first book play such a large part in this one, but also because it was such an amazing book to begin with.
Even better, however, is the fact that the Kindle version is only $4.10 at the time that this review is being published, and both digital and print formats (with the exception of used copies) are included in this promotion! So, you can get the kindle format of this book AND an autographed print copy of the first book for an insanely low price, so long as you snag In Seconds before September 7th, 2011.
With both of these novels ranking very high up on my favorites list this year, this is an opportunity that you should not let pass you by.
Recommended for fans of abused heroines on the run, of small town law enforcement taking on big-city criminals, and of allowing yourself to love again despite all the obstacles life tries to throw at you. 5/5 Stars(less)
Expected Release Date: August 23, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harleq...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 23, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: www.lauracaldwell.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes Series Best Read In Order: YES Steam Level: Warm
Overall, this wasn’t actually the type of story I typically seek out. While the mystery was incredible — tons of nuances and hints to pick up on, as well as some very lovely unexpected twists — I wasn’t happy with the romance aspect. There’s a love triangle, Izzy’s mom and stepfather are having problems, and the romance just plain wasn’t my cup of tea. Plus, the shifting POV was incredibly disorienting in the beginning, which took a lot away from the reading experience.
That said, I did enjoy reading it. As I said, the mystery itself made the book worth reading, and it is for that reason that I’m giving it a very solid 3.5/5 Stars, despite the disappointing romantic aspect.(less)
Expected Release Date: October 4, 2011 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. M...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: October 4, 2011 Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin’s Paperbacks Author’s Website: www.janelledenison.com My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Reliance Group Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Hot
Sean grew up with a con-man as a father, and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. After his father was sent to prison from a con gone bad, Sean tried to take the straight and narrow path, but the temptation of easy cash and the thrill of the con were too tempting, and pretty soon he was partnered up with one of his father’s old accomplices for what seemed to be an easy job. Things went sour with the victim, and Sean not only went to prison for a short stint, but also is plagued with guilt over what happened to the woman because of his actions.
Now both a bartender at the Onyx Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a member of the Reliance Group, a secret organization that utilizes the special skills of its members to complete under-the-radar investigations for high-profile clients, Sean is well on his way to proving to both himself and his boss that he has mended his wicked ways.
However, when a client approaches the Reliance Group with a job to track down the very man had been Sean’s father’s accomplice all those years ago — and the man responsible for his father’s prison sentence — Sean knows that this is his chance to finally bring the man to justice. Unfortunately, the case requires him to once more don his suave con-man persona — a persona he has worked incredibly hard to move on from.
It doesn’t help matters that his mark this time is Zoe Russo, the daughter of the man who sent Sean’s father to prison. Hating having to deceive her, Sean is determined to protect Zoe from the knowledge that she’s being played. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way, and pretty soon Zoe is confronted with Sean’s part in the investigation of her father, as well as his own personal history as a professional liar. For Zoe, whose own personal history gives her a distinct dislike for untruths, this is an incredibly cruel blow, because she had finally allowed herself to open up and trust a man.
Now Sean must protect Zoe from her father’s dangerous business partners who will stop at nothing to find her father, and to try desperately to convince her that the strong connection between them was the absolute truth.
I recently reviewed the first book in the Reliance Group series, INTO THE NIGHT, and gave that book a 4/5 Star rating. As much as I enjoyed that book, I don’t think it can hold a candle to this book at all. Don’t get me wrong, the first book was good, but this book was pretty much fantastic.
While this book is the second installment of the Reliance Group series, new readers should be aware that it works beautifully as a standalone. While the hero of the first book makes a small appearance, this story stood on its own two feet very well, with all the important information being given without ever falling into the dreaded Info Dump that so many sequels do.
I liked Zoe right from the start. While not a prude, she prefers for sexual relationships to have a basis in emotion, which was a refreshing change from the heroine in the first novel.
Sean was absolutely delicious, with his consummate good looks and all that charm, along with his guilt and self-hatred over his own mistakes in his past.
There was a delightful twist at the end that kept me on my toes, and I personally enjoyed the secondary romance between Jessica and Noah.
Overall, this was a wonderful read, full of both drama and suspense, as well as some delicious chemistry between the main characters.
Expected Release Date: April 25, 2011 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Impri...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 25, 2011 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Imprint: Grand Central Publishing Author’s Website: http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 5, The League Series Series Best Read In Order: Yes Steam Level: Steamy
When I saw that Netgalley had a copy of Born of Shadows up for grab, I literally squeed. Loudly :D
I’ve read almost all of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novels, and I’m a huge fangirl. While that doesn’t make me blind to the faults of the novel, I wasn’t disappointed.
Born of Shadows is classic Kenyon. Both Caillen and Desideria had pretty lousy childhoods, and both have been betrayed over and over during their lives, making it hard for them to trust anyone.
Caillen has been a favorite of mine ever since he was introduced into the series. Unashamedly a thief and a smuggler who lives by the seat of his pants, Caillen has always appealed to the Hans Solo fan in me. He’s a rogue and a scoundrel, and an unrepentant womanizer to boot, yet he’s also incredibly intelligent and resourceful, and intensely loyal to those few that he counts as family.
Desideria is a warrior princess from a matriarchal world where every honor must be earned, including that of being recognized as an adult. At 26 years old, she’s still completely innocent as far as interactions with the opposite sex, since in her culture, a female must have earned her adult status and have proved herself for a year before being allowed to fight for a consort. Thankfully, however, she didn’t come across as one of those ignorant virgins who freaks out at the slightest hint of physical desire, so there was none of that “OMG what’s happening?!” reaction to any of Caillen’s touches, which was refreshing.
While I do think that new readers would benefit from reading the entire League series before nabbing Born of Shadows, it’s been long enough since I’ve read the last one that I feel confident that those unfamiliar with the series wouldn’t be completely lost. As a previous reader, it was nice to get a few snippets of some of my favorite past characters, including Syn and Nykerian as well as Caillen’s sisters.
There were one or two instances where I was forced to pause for a moment and re-read as I had forgotten that certain technology existed in this world (such as teleporting), so that sort of thing may be a slight jolt for new readers as well. Overall, I have to say I think it would work fine as a standalone, though as with any series, it is important to read all of the novels to fully appreciate all of the characters and their relationships.
Despite my disappointment with some of the plot twists, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Crappy childhoods, messed-up families, loads of backstabbing, tons of chemistry and plenty of twists make this a story that should appeal to any Kenyon fan. 4/5 Stars (less)
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harp...moreThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: December 27, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.lauraleeguhrke.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift From the Publisher Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Abandoned at the Altar Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Having risen from the depths of poverty into the upper echelon of society by an inheritence, Annabel Wheaton knows what it’s like to be looked down upon by society. Shunned as “new money”, she craves the respectability and acceptance that comes with holding a powerful position in society, and more than that, she’s desperate to secure those things for both her younger sister and any future daughters.
Marrying an impoverished earl seems like the perfect solution, despite the fact that it is a match of convenience, completely devoid of love. After all, she tasted love once in her youth, only to end up brokenhearted and ruined, so a match based on mutual respect is perfectly desirable to her.
When Annabel’s family approaches the disreputable Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarsborough, with the task of convincing her to break off the wedding in exchange for a small fortune — one desperately needed to repair the bankrupt estate Christian’s brother left to him upon his death — he accepts. After all, his own marriage was a dismal failure that has left him with no small amount of guilt and plenty of cynicism about marriage in general.
Things are never so simple, however, and when Christian meets Annabel he’s completely enraptured by the beautiful and determined woman, and begins to want her to avoid this marriage more for herself than for the fortune it will net him if she does. When Christian makes a horrible blunder, humiliating Annabel and destroying not only her hopes of marrying the earl, but also of moving in polite society, she comes up with the perfect scheme to restore her reputation. Now, all they have to do is manage to keep their hands off of each other…
The beginning and middle of this story were fantastic. I absolutely adored Annabel, which surprised me since I don’t typically enjoy “experienced” heroines in my historicals. She was smart, lovely, and not nearly as naive as many historical romance heroines. Christian, too, grew on me fairly quickly, and I enjoyed watching him go from the man who was merely trying to fulfill a bargain that would net him quite a bit of money, to a man who truly despised the idea of Annabel marrying for convenience and having her inner spark dimmed and snuffed by English society.
However, towards the end, it truly felt as though Christian was more talking himself into “loving” Annabel, and making up for how terrible he made life for his first wife, rather than truly falling head over heels in love. Sure, he said the right words, and did the right things, but it seemed to me that things were told, rather than shown. Add to that Annabel’s recklessness despite her insistence that acceptance into the staid London society was her ultimate goal, and I was a bit let down overall. While certainly enjoyable, I really didn’t feel that this one lived up to my expectations from the author.