Amanda Briars is nearly thirty, unmarried, and firmly on the shelf. She makes a good living as a novelist, but though she enjoys her independence, sheAmanda Briars is nearly thirty, unmarried, and firmly on the shelf. She makes a good living as a novelist, but though she enjoys her independence, she craves the touch of a man. So, taking matters into her own hands, she approaches one of London's most notorious madams, and orders herself a birthday present--a sexy male prostitute. When he arrives, even more gorgeous and sensual than she could have imagined, Jack shows her a pleasure she never imagined existed, though he stops short of taking her virginity.
Publisher Jack Devlin is rather shocked when the author he's come to negotiate with obviously mistakes him for a hired stud--but he can't resist her voluptuous charms. When they meet again, and she discovers the deception, she's understandably upset, but a working relationship blossoms into a friendship that quickly becomes much more.
If I were rating this book on characters alone, it would get six out of five stars. Amanda is a perfect mix of confidence and insecurity, completely convinced of her own undesirability, yet assertive in her professional life. Jack is the bastard son of a nobleman who clawed his way to the top of the publishing world by any means at his disposal. He is very damaged, convinced that he's not what Amanda needs, yet unwilling to let her go. Their chemistry is explosive, and in spite of--or perhaps because of--their initial encounter, their relationship proceeds at a perfectly slow pace. The love scenes are well-done and numerous without feeling excessive. Jack and Amanda are also quite a bit more adventurous than the average couple in historical romance, which I liked quite a bit.
Unfortunately, the plot doesn't always measure up to the high standards set by the characters. The main obstacles to their relationship are Amanda's fear Jack will tire of her and Jack's damaging past, and honestly, those are good ones, more than enough to be the crux of the plot. However, Ms. Kleypas seems to need to throw more and more things in their way, cluttering up the last 1/3 of the book. And just when you think Jack & Amanda will get their HEA, there's yet another issue! This book would have been much improved if the last 50 or so pages had been cut and jumped right into the epilogue.
If you love strong heroines and sexy, damaged alpha heroes, this book is definitely one to check out. Just don't hold the meandering ending against Jack and Amanda.
This whole series is really fantastic. (Do I overuse that word my reviews? I feel like I do.) Elizabeth Hoyt is now one of my very favorite romance auThis whole series is really fantastic. (Do I overuse that word my reviews? I feel like I do.) Elizabeth Hoyt is now one of my very favorite romance authors--even more so, because her books are set in the 18th century, which is not the norm. And fairy tales! So many fairy tales. :D...more
Definitely my least favorite of the trilogy. I have disliked Nia since she was introduced in If You See Her, and she did not redeem herself here. SheDefinitely my least favorite of the trilogy. I have disliked Nia since she was introduced in If You See Her, and she did not redeem herself here. She was the epitome of a TSTL heroine: rushing off into dark, unfamiliar places to search for a serial killer; refusing to take good advice that would spare her pain because she's too "rash and impulsive;" and just generally being a bitch for no good reason. At one point, she actually asks Law why he puts up with her bitchiness, and I found myself wondering the same thing. The way she continued to talk down to Hope throughout this book was unforgivable. Eventually, she does realize that she needs to back off and let people (read: the police) handle some things, but it was too little, too late.
The wrap-up of the mystery was really satisfying. I had my suspicions about this person from the first book, and was gratified to be proven correct. His devolution seemed a little forced, as did how he tried to scare Nia off. He seemed too smart to think that would work. But damn, some of the revelations about the murders and the bodies--CREEPY AS FUCK. *shudder* I also liked the time spent with Ezra & Lena and Remy & Hope from the previous books, and, of course, Law. Really, the man's only flaw is his atrocious taste in women.
Overall, it's a solid three-star book. If I hadn't hated Nia so much, it could have easily been four, but she dragged down the whole thing....more
**spoiler alert** ARGH!!!! Who's the killer? I'm glad it wasn't the sheriff, though I thought it might be. The killer is mentioned several times as ha**spoiler alert** ARGH!!!! Who's the killer? I'm glad it wasn't the sheriff, though I thought it might be. The killer is mentioned several times as having short hair/a shaved head, as did the sheriff, even though he seemed too good and honest to be a murderer. Plus, it would have involved him being an unreliable narrator which is one of my big pet peeves in fiction writing. When the author uses a deliberately lying narrator (e.g. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd), yet gives the reader no other point of view with which to contrast his... oh, it really makes me feel used.
This one was absolutely lovely. However, I have absolutely no interest in the other three Hathaway siblings' stories; for me, this was all about Cam &This one was absolutely lovely. However, I have absolutely no interest in the other three Hathaway siblings' stories; for me, this was all about Cam & Merripin....more