Saturday, February 28, 2009
What is the price of love?
Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his mission will be easily accomplished -- but that was before he met the lady in question.
For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition -- one he has never offered before.
He asks her to be his bride.
And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know -- that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London's most notorious lover might claim Charlotte's body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.
Well, this was the third and last of the Bow Street Runners series, and as much as I loved the 2nd book in the series, this one wasn't nearly as good. I liked it, but I didn't love it. I'm not a big fan of the "tormented young man meets good woman who helps him learn to love" scenario. As much as I love Lisa Kleypas and this book had much hotness and I enjoyed seeing some old familiar characters from her other books, there was something about this one that left me cold. I never quite warmed up to either the hero or the heroine all that much, I just didn't care. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I disliked it, but it wasn't one of her best, in my opinion.
Perhaps part of the problem was I didn't really like Nick Gentry that much. We meet him in the 2nd book of the series, Lady Sophia's Lover. A ne'er do well and former underworld felon (who's really a viscount), he has now become a Bow Street Runner. On assignment in Hampshire, he is out to find Charlotte Howard, who has run away from her old and icky, not to mention, debauched fiance, Lord Radnor. Radnor has hired Nick to find her. Upon meeting, there is an undeniable mutual attraction. She is working as a companion for the dowager Lady Westcliff at Stony Cross Park (same place as where all the Wallflower books take place.) Now, throughout the majority of the book, Nick has this deep, dark secret that he is witholding from everyone but his sister, Sophia (from the last book). This is the same secret that has tormented him since he was a young teenager on a prison ship. It has prevented him from ever wanting to be touched, until a friendly madam from a high class brothel cures him of it, and for three years, she schools him in the art of love. He becomes a master lover, yet he has never once practiced on anyone... until Charlotte.
Nick is drawn to Lottie (her nickname) and realizes he can't deliver her to Radnor. Will she marry him instead or accept the honorable proposal of Lord Westcliff (this is before he marries in the Wallflower books). Nick has a brash and infamous reputation himself, but Lottie remembers his hot kisses in the woods, and an offer she can't refuse in Lord Westcliff's library - she agrees to marry him. To say the least, bedtime is when they are happiest, yet Nick will not stay with her in bed and always leaves her alone for the rest of the night. *pout*
If I were Lottie I would be so upset!
Yet, she's so nice and understanding, she just accepts everything! Lottie is aware of how volatile a personality he has, and how he can flare up in anger, so she doesn't press him on it. It turns out he has nightmares and doesn't want to have her witness his nightly thrashings in bed. That's one of the things that really bugged me about her. She believes that their marriage is a "marriage of convenience," so she feels beholden to Nick for rescuing and marrying her, so now she just takes all this shit he doles out! One minute he's Mr. Passion in bed with his Tantric sex, and the next morning he's taut and angry, storming out for the day with no word of where he'll be. I just really got a bit fed up with him and his moods, no matter how great a lover he was! Eventually, she stands up to him at the same moment she tells him she loves him. And after that he tells her the big secret and -- he's magically healed! LOL! Either she's in love with him because she loves a tormented guy and his vulnerability or it's because he's so great in bed! I know what I'd pick!
All in all, it's not a bad romance, I know many people loved this book, but I just didn't fall for this plotline, maybe it's me, maybe I'm just not a sucker for a bad boy turned good scenario - I think that's it. Now that I think about it, I know that's it.