Barb in Maryland's Reviews > A Gentleman Undone

A Gentleman Undone by Cecilia Grant
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's review
Jun 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: romance
Read in June, 2012

I didn't manage to get anywhere with Ms Grant's first book ("A Lady Awakened"). I didn't care for the story set-up, didn't like the heroine. So I was of two minds about reading her second.
I am glad I decided to give it a go, because this was worth it. This book is dark and angsty--be warned. The HEA is hard won and comes at a very high cost (for Will) and is the more satisfying for all that.
Lydia and Will are such strong characters--each has a dark blot on their souls that contributes to their motivations. We can easily guess Will's--the prologue sets it up so that when he finally reveals his sin to Lydia I just nodded--no surprise there. Lydia's secret is not so easily gotten at. When she finally reveals it to Will, he immediately grasps its implications and a light bulb goes on for the reader--now Lydia's actions make a different kind of sense.
I found all the attention to the odds of gambling to be fascinating. It wasn't info dumping at all; it gave us insight into Lydia's mind and brain. She loses her patience with Will over his inability to comprehend mathematical relations as easily as she does (great scene). But he quickly comes up with a Plan B, so they are able to put their 'earn the money we both need through playing Blackjack' scheme into action.
I can see why the author gave us the whole house party section of the book, but I also wanted to see more of Will and Lydia in action in the gaming halls.
When Will and Lydia finally(!!) make it to bed together the action is very hot. But it also reveals more about the two. Lydia quite frankly enjoys sex but wants nothing to do with love or tenderness. Will enjoys the sex as well but does want it to be about more than sizzling nerve endings. When she finally reaches the point where she says "I love you" to Will, it is wonderful and very rewarding.
Ms Grant has a marvelous voice; her prose is rich, her word choices are precise and chosen well. I will have no qualms about picking up her next book. She now goes on my auto-get list with Sherry Thomas, Meredith Duran and Courtney Milan.
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message 1: by Susan in NC (new) - added it

Susan in NC Good review, I may pick this one up. I read her first through the Amazon Vine Program and thought it was different and interesting, but took time for me to get into. I was intrigued to see what else she'd come up with next, so thanks for the review!

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