Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Reckless

Reckless by Anne Stuart
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This veteran historical romance novel-reader asks this question: Do we really need any more rake heroes? No! They make me yawn and roll my eyes. But wait! What about Adrian, Viscount Rohan? Okay, maybe we can have a few rake heroes, as long as they are masterfully brought to life as Ms. Anne Stuart did with Adrian.

Yes, yes, yes! I know you will wave a hand at me and say, "You like all her books, so your opinion isn't really valid." I guess if you feel that way, you should probably stop reading this review. But, if you want to hear me out, then keep reading.

Once again, I was in raptures. Adrian is a man who doesn't deserve a woman like Charlotte. He knows it, she knows it, we know it when we're reading this story. Heck, Ms. Stuart knew it. But, I wanted him to have Charlotte so bad. Usually when the hero is an arrogant dog, I want the heroine to take his heart and stomp on it into a mushy consistency that resembles a tomato dropped from the second story of a building. Yes, I am vindictive like that. With Reckless, I was reading feverishly, anxious to see how this predator would get his prey. Adrian was so bad, in a very good way. I loved the cat and mouse game he played, how he stalked Charlotte into the garden of no return (at least if you wanted to stay celibate). I love bad boys, but I usually love the bad boys who are physically dangerous, not the skirt-chasers. But this is one bad rake that I really loved.

Another reason that I wanted Adrian and Charlotte to get together so much was because Charlotte was so in love with him. I thought she should have this man she pined for so badly (but always in a dignified way). I didn't want her heart broken, or for her to be used and abandoned, but I wanted her to have a little happiness in her life. In the scenes where Charlotte's loneliness and feelings were so poignantly displayed by Ms. Stuart’s writing, I felt my heart clench. Charlotte didn’t wear her heart on her sleeve, but Adrian knew and so did her cousin Lina. She was the consummate wallflower, awash in her isolation, in a world of perfect budding beauties; her on the wrong side of thirty, six-foot tall, and freckled, and penniless to boot. Normally I want to give the heroines who chase after the rake a good slap on the back of their head to bring them to their senses. But, in this case, I wanted them to end up together. Even so, I liked the fact that in this book, Adrian pretty much did all the pursuing; it was just up to Charlotte to surrender, and boy did Adrian make that an easy thing to do.

Their scenes of intimacy were so sexy, and so beautiful. It’s hard to describe. You could think of it as sex scenes, but there was another level there. A connection that was forming between them that I oftentimes find missing with other books with this theme. Those stolen interludes were gratifying to me, even if I knew that their time together was illicit and might end badly.

I loved that this was just the beginning of their courtship. Adrian had to go through a sea change. It’s easy to say that the right sex partner will change a rake’s heart. I don’t believe that, and I never will. But, I could totally believe that Adrian’s time with Charlotte had changed him. Something clicked inside of him when it came to Charlotte. I wonder if she was there in his mind the whole time, but she was marked ‘off-limits’ for whatever reason; and when he saw her at the Heavenly Host Revel, he decided he was going to take what he truly wanted, and damn the consequences. Even though it was so wrong of him to seduce Charlotte, I ain’t mad at him.

Being a stubborn knucklehead, Adrian does some stupid things in his relationship with Charlotte, and they both know it. I loved how Charlotte wasn’t afraid to stand up to Adrian and tell him he was being stupid. She wasn’t like putty in his hands, well at least not all the time. That powerful attraction between them held sway, but not to the point of idiocy; and, as I always demand in a good romance, it was mutual. If Charlotte was a fool for love, so was Adrian.

The secondary romance was so good. I loved Lina and Simon together. I wanted to cry for Lina and for what she’d gone through in her marriage, and how it had sent her into a very disagreeable (at least for me) lifestyle. I can’t decide if I would have liked it better if she enjoyed it or not. If I don’t like promiscuous heroes (and I don’t), I definitely don’t like lascivious heroines. With any topic that is not to my taste, it has to be done well, and it was here. I loved and respected Lina, even if I didn’t like the choices she made. This character was in Anne Stuart’s hands, and I was sighing and hoping that she would get her HEA. I loved Simon too. I liked that he called Lina on her nonsense, and she did the same for him. She opened his heart to love, and he did the same for her. They had a powerful attraction that opened the door for something more. I could totally see this couple having a happy life together, because they had a connection that surpassed the superficiality of their disparate roles in society.

I can’t say there is anything I didn’t love about this story. I mean, the suspense part wasn’t that necessary to the romance (in my mind), although it tied into the story. I don’t read romance of this sort for suspense, so I was more fixated on the progression of Charlotte/Adrian and Lina/Simon’s romances than that aspect. I loved seeing Francis, now Marquess of Haverstoke, and Elinor, his Marchioness, again, who are Adrian’s parents. I like how Francis is now a stern father, and Elinor a loving, indulgent mother. It was kind of interesting seeing Adrian getting called on the hot seat in front of his father. Made me laugh!

Gosh, I adored this book. It was a rapturous romance, and with a theme I usually don’t like. I am just not into rakes. But, some authors can deliver a story of a rake and the good woman who turns him around so well, that I am in, hook, line and sinker. Anne Stuart is my favorite author of all time for a reason. I think I’d better shut up now. I may end just babbling incoherently about how happy I feel when I read one of Ms. Stuart’s books. She only gets better (which is quite a feat), in my humble opinion. This one definitely goes on my best of 2010 list.
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Reading Progress

12/30/2010 page 13
3.0% "I decided I want Anne Stuart to help me celebrate the end of 2010. Already off to a heavenly start!" 4 comments
12/31/2010 page 408
100.0% "Awesome!"
04/12/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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Tammy Walton Grant So glad you liked it! Can't wait to see your review. Happy New Year!

message 3: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully What a fab review Dr. D!

Shawna Great review, Danielle! This was my favorite in the House of Rohan series. I can't wait to hear what you think about Scorpion in BREATHLESS.

Keri Great review! This was one of my favs as well. Prepare yourself for Breathless, although I am not sure there is anyway to.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Shawna and Keri. I am excited to read Breathless. It sounds verra interesting!

message 8: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim You guys have convinced me to read this. I was skeptical and have been in reading rut. So I'll give it a try. I do like bad boys!

message 10: by Tara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tara Loved your review! Makes me want to re-read this series! I LOVED it!

Breathless left me speechless lol. Not quite, but that is a book you can't get out of your head. That's all I'm saying :D

Tammy Walton Grant Awesome review, Danielle -- you nailed the 2 reasons that this book worked so well for me:

"Adrian was so bad, in a very good way."

"...she should have this man she pined for so badly (but always in a dignified way)."

Adrian and Charlotte were so likeable, and so identifiable, I LOVED this book!

Just wait 'til you meet Lucien....

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Tammy!! We are on the same page, but that's not unusual.

Tara, I want to reread it again already!

message 13: by Ally72 (new)

Ally72 Great review, Danielle! As I am reading your reviews for this series, I want to move it up on my TBR pile.

MashJ I've ordered it and I'm looking forward to reading it very soon!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Ally. You should check these out.

Can't wait to see what you think, Mshj.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish This is another series I need to read. Did it stop at 3, or will there be more.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Wasn't it supposed to be a trilogy? But I thought I heard there'd be another one.

Thanks for the info.

message 19: by D.G. (new) - added it

D.G. Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "There is another one coming out, Shameless."

Oh crap! I was reading this series for a challenge specifically because it was a trilogy! Grrr...I think I'll have to change it to something else.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) The fourth book isn't out yet (maybe not even finished yet), so I think it counts officially, DG.

message 21: by Linds (new)

Linds I've only read Black Ice by Anne Stuart (loved it, and I'm not even especially a fan of romantic suspense) and I didn't even know she wrote historicals! This looks really good, great review Danielle.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Linds. Since our taste in HR is very similar, I think you would like AS's historicals.

message 23: by Arch (new)

Arch Nice review Danielle. Anne Stuart has captured your heart again with this book. The woman is a master storyteller.

Quinn Great review, Danielle. I loved this one, too. I can't wait to see what you think of Breathless!

message 27: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna I loved this book too . . . and Breathless as well. In fact, after reading your review, I am going to change my rating from 4 to 5 stars . . . and I am stingy with my 5 star ratings. hee hee

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Anna, I am getting more stingy with 5 star ratings. I use 4 stars a lot for books I really like, but I think I will probably have less 5 stars because of books like this one that really do it well!

message 29: by Brylit (new)

Brylit OMG Lady D, I am so into AS and I love her complex males, It is excellent to know that some bad men have an achilles heal when it comes to good women that can see and answer their cries for help. ;) actually their behavior can still shock themselves when it comes to the perfect mate. On a deeper note, consider the strange relationship between Agent Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter, I confess that he is a terrible character, and yet she is his achilles heel. Something in her is a balm to him, he like the Scorpion is somehow bound to his "bene noir" in Reckless, and she makes him a slightly better man, which frustrates and attracts him at the same time. Bad men that are truly all man are very interesting to me. Like ANGEL and Buffy, hmm? :) Brylit

MashJ oh, thank you for the review- this book was delivered to me yesterday

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I concur with you about the appeal of a 'bad man' waiting to be redeemed by the right woman, Brylit.

Mshj, I hope you enjoy the book!

message 32: by Tarra (new)

Tarra Wow! If the book is half as good as your review, I'm in for a treat!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Your mileage may vary but I certainly loved it. The ratings are kind of low on this series, overall. I think it's fantastic though.

Claudia Great review! I just finished the first installment and loved it, and now I can't really wait to begin this one!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Claudette. I hope you like Reckless as well.

Claire Awesome review!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Claire! Love your avatar.

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