Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Author Melanie George delivers a sexy new novel of dangerous delight, where England's most independent woman meets her match in the ton's most seductive gentleman....
Lovely Lady Bliss Ashton has her pick of the attractive, sophisticated men in Regency society...and she's rejected them all. But when Caine Ballinger, the Earl of Hartland -- famous the length and breadth of England for his sexual prowess -- lays siege to her, she's finally tempted to fall. Not just because of the passion he arouses in her untutored body; it's also the hint of vulnerability she sees beneath the arrogant, dangerous facade he shows to the world.
Caine is only wooing Lady Bliss to win a bet, so he can regain his ancestral estate -- with the added attraction that by seducing her, he'll get revenge against her father. All he's interested in is getting her luscious body beneath his, then publicly shaming her. So why does he feel so strange when her gentle fingers stroke his hard body, or her soft words soothe his tortured soul? And when the bet is revealed, Caine has to choose...between his longtime dream and the woman he craves with all his heart.
My first time reading a romance by this author, I started out disliking both the hero and heroine. The heroine came across as one of these independent types who dresses provocatively in a very daring dress and then wonders why the hero acts like a cad and can barely keep his hands off her everytime they meet. He's drunk most of the time and is a "kept man." He has lots of issues, mainly that he's a kept man by the woman who bought his family estate and he's under her thumb. So, he's drunk most of the time and trying to deal with the fact his father killed himself because he was so in debt to a particular duke - who happens to be the father of our unbeknownst heroine! One minute our heroine refers to herself as no lady, yet she is a virgin and the daughter of a duke! She spends most of her time living with her mother in Paris, painting nude models - well, I guess most ladies of the ton would consider that rather unlady-ish.
Anyhow, the story was a bit ridiculous and I found this was one of those kinds of books that was driven by sex, sex, sex. Lots of sex - or near sex. The hero and heroine were constantly at odds with each other when he wasn't tearing her clothes off. He was a tortured hero, and only our heroine Bliss could soothe his pain. But, after a while, both of the characters began to sort of grow on me. The story shifted from England to Paris and got a little better. He managed to clean himself up, declare himself to her, but then manages to get himself arrested for murder. She knows he didn't do it, because he was making love to her, but he's too much of a gentleman (now he decides to be a gentleman?) to admit to it, so he doesn't have an alibi. Fortunately, there's a happy ending.
Described as a Regency, it's really not, I think it takes place sometime in Victorian England, but not sure of the decade, 1860's or '70's. There's mention of pantalettes and Moulin Rouge and Manet, the artist, so who knows!
Not bad if you like historicals with lots of sex - quick read. It's funny too, the entire time I was reading this paperback, I had no idea the picture was of a half naked woman on the cover! LOL! I thought it was some sort of flower collage thing!