Wednesday, October 20, 2010
She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn't about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible...but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.
Jack Devlin's determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently-bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London's most notorious businessman, refused to live by society's rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected...but both soon craved.
Wow, another great, great Lisa Kleypas romance! This one was another classic, taking place sometime in the pre-Victorian era. Successful spinster author, Amanda Briars, mistakes handsome publisher, Jack Devlin for a male prostitute she has hired, sight unseen. It's her birthday gift to herself for her 30th birthday - she intends to lose her virginity. Little does she know that he’s really shown up at her front door to get her to pen a serial novel for his publishing firm and steel her away from her current publisher. They have quite a steamy encounter, although Amanda has no idea who he really is! She doesn’t lose her virginity that night – leaving room for more to come for the reader – but she cannot forget the unforgettable experience she has had with Jack.
You know of course what happens. They meet again at a party and *shock* there he is! The notorious millionaire publishing mogul who has taken London by storm! In classic Lisa Kleypas style, Jack is a self made man, rising from nothing to make a name for himself. Rich, handsome, virile and irresistible, he doesn’t care what people think on the outside. But inside, he wants the love of a good woman but he won’t admit it – least of all to himself. He knows no boundaries and is ruthless in getting what he wants – and he wants Amanda. He wants her to be one of his authors - and he’d like something a little more personal as well. But, as a wife? He’s not the marrying kind, so he says. The first part he has covered, for she’s acquiesces to his demands to write the serial novel, thanks to the exorbitant amount of money he’ll pay her, and the worry that he might let slip to someone what happened to them “that night.” As to the second part, she surprises him and they come to “an arrangement” – she liked being with him that night and would like more of it. But, she doesn’t want the strings of being married either – so they have an affair. She sets the rules, they have a mutually satisfying affair and after three months it ends. They go their separate ways. Can they both live with this arrangement? Not bloody likely!
I simply loved this book. Amanda was no pushover. She really held her own with Jack most of the time. She’s not painted as a raving beauty of statuesque proportions, though Jack thinks she’s gorgeous. Often, she’s painted as having a few flaws in her figure, having to diet once in a while, refraining from indulging in too many bons bons, refreshing to see in an historical romance heroine. She was intelligent, but didn’t count on falling for Jack so hard. Didn’t she think it would happen? Once she realizes how much she loves him, she remembers what he said about not wanting to ever marry or have children. She assumes he’ll never ask her to marry him. Oops – did I say children? Uh oh. She makes a pre-emptive strike and ends the affair early – no matter how wonderful it was. After the break up they’re both miserable and she’s in a fix.
Finding how this mistake is fixed kept me reading into the wee hours to finish this book, which was passionate, delicious and steamy. A real keeper and now another Lisa Kleyas favorite! I highly recommend this delightful historical romance. Good all the way to happy ever after ending!