Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Mad Bad Duke by Jennifer Ashley

Book Description:
Meagan Tavistock could easily see how Alexander had earned the nickname Mad, Bad Duke. His deep blue eyes promised sinful pleasure, his touch burned through the silk of her dress, and his rich voice intimated that as soon as they were skin to skin, he'd fulfill desires she didn't even know she had. When a love spell missed its intended target, Meagan could no longer resist the temptation...until the magic wore off, leaving the pair in a most compromising position. Their only option was a marriage that thrust Meagan into a new world of high danger, dark secrets, and a passion so intense she couldn't help wondering: Was it the lingering power of the spell or true love at last?

Quickie review:

I totally loved and enjoyed this 2nd installment in Ashley's romantic Nvengaria Series with paranormal elements. Alexander, the Grand Duke was a swoonworthy character and Meagan was much more likable and endearing here than in the first book of the series. Alexander is a super powerful guy, now a diplomat in London for the country of Nvengaria.  He has a fearsome reputation and temper.  Basically, he's the kind of person, you just don't mess with.  Meagan is a young Englishwoman who is somewhat of a wallflower amidst London's spectacular beauties.  She is virtually a nobody, except her step-sister is married to the Prince of Nvengaria (1st book in series).

Due to a magic love spell that goes awry, these two are thrown together.  They both experience realistic dreams of having sex in a bath with one another and when they actually see one another at a ball - all those dreamy memories surface and with one look - she's his.  Suddenly little Meagan is having mad, passionate sex with this amazingly powerful man at the ball, behind closed doors!  No way - this is too crazy!  Plus, she was a virgin.  Once he realizes he has "ruined" her, he does the honorable thing and offers her his hand in marriage to save her reputation.   She has no choice, it's a given, she's now going to be the Grand Duchess! Talk about a life change!  It doesn't hurt that he is irresistible and the two of them can't keep their hands off each other due to this love spell.  Or is it really the spell that's making them act this way?

Meanwhile the Grand Duke must face the realization that he's part logosh (a strange mystical animal from Nvengaria) and he's actually falling for his little English wife for real.   He's got a lot on his plate.  Someone's trying to murder him and he's learning how to shape shift - all without letting Meagan know about it!  She's mystfied with his sometimes bizarre behavior.  One minute he's Mr. Passionate, sweeping everything off the dining room table to have her and the next minute he's cold and aloof and will barely notice her.  It turns out he's afraid he will hurt her and turn into a logosh when he's having sex with her.  Sex with Meagan tends to make him lose all control and it would be so embarrasing if he turned into a panther in the middle of *ahem* you know. Silly man!  Of course, Meagan has no idea and is hurt by his cold and puzzling attitude. 

Naturally, it all turns out well in the end, and I ate this book up.  The plot line was far fetched and pure fantasy, but it was fun and moved along and kept my interest.  I really liked both the hero and heroine, I empathized with Meagan and her new life, coping with her new responsibilities of being a busy Grand Duchess.   Regarding Alexander - I just loved every scene he was in.  Bigger than life in every way - I love a man like that!  I highly recommend this romance for the sheer pleasure of it - the sex was pretty hot too! *fans self*



Blodeuedd said...

Hihi, oh I like the sound of this one now :D
Still have that one Ashley book on my shelf

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Bloddeuedd - she's becoming one of my favorite romance authors! Give her a try!

Penelope said...

Oh, this sounds great! I'm gonna go get I need to read the first one in the series first?

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Penny, not absolutely necessary, but the first book sets it all up for this one. Alexander and Meagan are in the first book a lot too, though they don't meet. The first book was also a real hot one and full of fantasy, but the heroine was not as endearing. I reviewed it a while back. The next in the series is about their Scottish Highlander friend!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Sounds so delicious! I'm sold!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Julia, glad I sold you on it!

Penelope said...

Thanks, Julie! I read one of her short stories in A Christmas Ball and was intrigued about this paranormal series. Def. going to read this one...thanks!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Penny, I haven't read that story, is it Nvengaria related? Characters from her pirate books are also mentioned a tiny bit in this series (I assume I haven't read them).

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