Hero: Alexander Foakes, Earl of Sheffield, looks just like his twin, and like his twin, he’s a rakehell. His twin is just more charming. Alex meets a mysterious lady at a Cyprian’s ball, seduces her, takes her virginity (surprise!), and follows her too late to discover who she is… fast forward and now he’s a father and a widower, having married a woman who cheated on him repeatedly. He’s got ISSUES.
Heroine: Lady Charlotte Daicheston allows her friend to badger her into going to an ill-advised and unchaperoned party with a “parson” who gets the two women drunk and tries to make out with the friend. Charlotte spies a handsome stranger and
her passion the alcohol overrules her natural inhibitions. She finds out she likes sex, but a lady shouldn’t, and she berates herself for it. She’s got ISSUES.
Review: The cover! Oy! Terrible. The original in paperback isn’t much better (which I realized too late that I owned, although unread).
The heroine’s situation in how she met the hero should be a lesson for all. Please be aware if the person you are with has been incapacitated by alcohol. Don’t assume just because you do not know them that this is normal behavior, not even if you’re at a ball/party/bar. Ask permission. Pay attention.
Now when Alex and Charlotte are behaving like rational people the story is great. I love his persistent courting of her. I love how he tenderly cares for her before and after his proposal. I love when the twin comes back and the rumors start flying. BUT when they’re not behaving well, it’s all kind of wack-a-doodle… and it’s mostly Alex who is the dunderhead. I normally love angst, and big misunderstandings, but Alex crosses a line. For that, this romance shows it’s age.
Narrator: I listened to and rejected a lot of audio books because of Susan Duerden’s narration in the offered sample. Somehow I accidentally chose this book without realizing she also narrated it. I’m happy to say that her sample pieces aren’t the end-all be-all of her voice work and that she was better than my expectations.
Buy: Potent Pleasures (The Pleasures Trilogy)
Summary: Melina Parker has been dumped again for being the opposite of what a man desires in the bedroom. She doesn’t understand what she’s doing wrong. Enlisting the help of one of her close friends, a trusted playboy with a heart of gold, she plans to get practical hands-on experience to improve her future performances. Little does she know that Max Dalton plans to substitute his twin brother Rhys for the sexual teaching/awakening.
Review: Max got in the way of Melina and Rhys when they were in high school and has felt bad ever since. Rhys hasn’t ever really moved on, so when Max is propositioned by Melina to turn her into a sex diva he jumps on board in hopes of making amends. It’s little work to convince Melina to drop the spectacles and push his brother into the hotel room. Once the door is shut the rest is on them. This story starts off very sexy but derails a bit as the story progresses. I found future scenes between the two lacking that initial heat and passion. A lot of time is devoted to unraveling the threads of the past, getting over hurt feelings, and then figuring out if the relationship is worth it. (Max and Rhys are traveling magicians; Melina wants 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.)
Buy: Bedding The Wrong Brother (Bedding the Bachelors, Book 1)
Summary: Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is a great big rake. He has been since the love of his life ran off to marry an older titled man. Marcus knows without a doubt that the Contessa Sabine Orsini is trouble, but he can’t resist her when she waltzes back into his life demanding his help. He gives it in exchange for her presence in his bed. It’s a deal Sabine is more than willing to make in order to get her revenge on the man who ruined her parents and her only chance of happiness.
Review: I found it difficult to like either the hero or heroine. He was an entitled prig. She was a cold fish. Then, just when they started to get enjoyable, Sabine runs off to the villain in a classic TSTL move, which was painful to listen to so I sped that part up.
Narrator: The trilogy is narrated as a whole by Marian Hussey. I found her to be a pleasant narrator with good pacing. She can do a nice husky male voice which made the heroes all the more convincing.
Warning/Spoiler: Sabine was raped by the villain, her son is the result of this sad event.
Buy: To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone (Wicked Wagers)
Heroine: Phoebe Marlow has a good head on her shoulders and sees the ton’s foibles for what they are. She’s also an aspiring writer who just finished penning a marvelous Gothic romance with cameos of different persons in the ton. She makes her bad guy the insufferable Duke of Salford and unwittingly creates his fictional character with a background very close to the real Sylvester. When Sylvester makes a good impression on her after the book is sent to the publishers, she’s desperate to change it but it’s too late!
Hero: Sylvester, the Duke of Salford, doesn’t remember meeting Phoebe the first time. He’s always prided himself on upholding the title with pride and dignity. To treat anyone ill is beneath him and his station. He decides the best way to get back at Phoebe for her slander is to marry the girl, but he goes about it all wrong and botches everything.
Review: In some respects you could say Sylvester is like Mr. Darcy, but they are not exact copies. Loved Sylvester’s nickname for Phoebe, “sparrow.” Super cute. I love a great nickname. I also liked the dynamics of the story. You have several side characters who add to the story’s tapestry and orchestrate all kinds of shenanigans from an ill-behaved nephew, a spoiled woman who wants the attention from being a pitiable mother without having to mother, a man as pompous as he is wealthy, and a platonic male friend who tries to do right but ends up making a mess of things because he lacks the savvy Sylvester was born with. Overall very enjoyable.
Narrator: Nicholas Rowe has a nice smooth voice. The recording is a little soft and I had to listen to it at higher volume than I normally would, but Rowe himself was great. He had a good cadence with the book and made Heyer’s novel entertaining and engaging.
Buy: Sylvester: or The Wicked Uncle, Sylvester: Or, the Wicked Uncle (audio book)
Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds
Nicole “Nikki” Powell has some regrets. And with the way her story starts off you have to feel sorry for her. And the author does a great job at showing all the emotions that Nikki is feeling. Wade Knowlton has a soft heart but that doesn’t mean that he’s a pushover. The author did a great job in showing how seductive or sweet he could be. Their first real interaction will have you chuckling. Our couple’s second conversation shows what a great read this is going to be. You will have to read in order to find out who won the “tug of wills”.
This book is also a great incentive to check out Montana if you’ve never been. Another suggestion would be to check out those vacations that you could spend your time on a working ranch. But in both instances you will want to make sure to bring this book with you. There is tons of steam heat and you can’t blame it on the humidity – just sayin’. There’s graphic language and some graphic sex scenes so that you will need plenty of ice or a big fan handy. It may even spice up your love life a little.
Some authors include a character that you just seem to hate – one step above a jerk. This is one more incentive to grab your own copy of this great book – to learn more about Wade’s brother. And this author goes one step further and includes a real bitch that has you hoping that she gets what she deserves.
Victoria will give you your HEA ending and this book will also get you ready for Rough Rider that comes out in February. If I have one disappointment is that I wasn’t able to get to a ranch in order to set the tone while reading this book – but never say never. And if you would like to read a Christmas novella starring our couple, Slowly Unwrapped can be found at Victoria’s web site. (http://www.victoriavane.com/free-reads/).
Buy: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights)
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