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The second book in a deliciously sexy new series from USA Today bestselling and RITA award winning author Caroline Linden, in which an utterly shocking book--Fifty Shades of Grey for the Regency era-- has all of London talking and gives more than one young miss a mind for scandal.
Sometimes it takes a scandal . . .
Abigail Weston has everything: beauty, wit, and one of the largest dowries in England. Her parents hope she’ll wed an earl. Abigail hopes for a man who wants her desperately and passionately. But the money seems to blind every man she meets-except one.
Sebastian Vane has nothing. He came home from war with a shattered leg to find his father mad and his inheritance gone. He’s not a fit suitor for anyone, let alone an heiress. But Abigail lights up his world like a comet, bright and beautiful and able to see him instead of his ruined reputation. And it might end happily ever after . . .
Until Benedict Lennox begins courting Abigail. Ben is everything Sebastian isn’t-wealthy, charming, heir to an earl. Sebastian won’t give up the only girl he’s ever loved without a fight, but Abigail must choose between the penniless gentleman who moves her heart, and the suitor who is everything her parents want.
“If I don’t disgust you, why won’t you speak to me? There was only that one moment, when you told me about the lost grotto, when I felt we were cordial.”
He heaved a soundless sigh. “I’m speaking to you now, aren’t I?”
“Without saying anything,” she grumbled. “We are neighbors, sir. Surely we can have an amiable relationship.”
With unexpected speed and grace he whirled on her. Abigail nearly tripped as she leapt back once, then again until her back hit a tree as he stalked toward her. He loomed over her, so close she could see the lines around his eyes but not so close he was touching her. “Amiable,” he whispered. “We will never be amiable.”
“Why not?” she stammered. Her heart was beating a tattoo inside her chest.
He smiled, but there was nothing light about it. It was a black and bitter expression, and the sight made her eyes grow wide. “Because I am a wicked man, Miss Weston. Don’t you listen to the gossip? Madness runs in my family. My estate is utterly ruined. People call me a thief. They even say I killed my father. Ask anyone in town, and they’ll warn you to stay far, far away from me. To a beautiful, innocent young woman, I might as well be the devil incarnate.”
“Did you kill your father?” As soon as the words left her mouth, Abigail wished them back.
“What do you think?” he asked in the same soft, dangerous tone.
She frowned. “I doubt it.”
“But you don’t know. That should warn you to run away.”
She stared at him. “You intrigue me.”
He leaned closer. In confusion she closed her eyes. “And you intrigue me,” he replied, his breath stirring the hair at her temple. “That’s why I avoid you.”
Georgette Heyer lovers take heart! Linden must have been a fan, too, because she's got the mood and character-driven romance nailed.
But her "girls love the bad boys" theme has a modern tune, thankfully, and her heroine is not a milksop hero-worshiper as in the days of the infamous bodice rippers.
The heart-wrenching "what I want versus what everyone is telling me I should do," dilemma drives the plot, with heiress Abigail Weston as the spotlight spawnling of the typical ambiious parental units. Not only is she hopelessly drawn to the rakishly handsome Sebastian Vale (even his name screams sexy he-man) , but the very things that make him "off-limits" intrigue her rather than sending up red flags.
The story is well written, and though not a timeless classic it contains all the essential ingredients that keep an historical romance fan reaching for the Avon label. Once there, they will seek out Caroline Linden again and again.
Book Bling gives this historical romance 4 blings!
Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer software before turning to writing fiction. Ten years, twelve books, two Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC Reader’s Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA’s RITA Award. Since she never won any prizes in math, she takes this as a sign that her decision was also a smart one. Visit her online at www.carolinelinden.com
From USA Today bestselling author Laura Lee Guhrke comes the story of a bargain, a marriage of convenience…and the chance for love to last a lifetime
They had a deal…
From the moment she met the devil-may-care Duke of Margrave, Edie knew he could change her life. And when he agreed to her outrageous proposal of a marriage of convenience, she was transformed from ruined American heiress to English duchess. Five years later, she’s delighted with their arrangement, especially since her husband is living on another continent.
But deals are made to be broken…
By marrying an heiress, Stuart was able to pay his family’s enormous debts, and Edie’s terms that he leave England forever seemed a small price to pay. But when a brush with death impels him home, he decides it’s time for a real marriage with his luscious American bride, and he proposes a bold new bargain: ten days to win her willing kiss. But is ten days enough to win her heart?
The image of her moonlit face, as luminous and smooth as alabaster, flashed across his mind, as vivid now as it had been that fateful night at Hanford House—so vivid, in fact, that despite his many efforts over the years not to think of her, he’d failed more often than he’d succeeded. It had been her image that invaded his dreams during his delirium-filled fever, not the dangerous events that had nearly killed him. Even now, he could hear her voice clearly, so resolute and uncompromising. That you never, ever come back.
Well, as he’d told her then, never was a long time. Circumstances changed, and plans went awry. His certainly had. He turned on the carriage seat, grimacing as he shifted his weight onto one hip and stretched out his leg. The sea voyage from Mombasa to Constantinople hadn’t been too bad, even without Jones. He felt another grimace of pain that had nothing to do with his leg, and he put his valet out of his mind. Jones was gone, and there was nothing he could do about that. He focused on the pain in his leg instead. That was easier to bear. On the ship, he’d been able to move about freely, but trains and carriages were a different matter. The muscles of his thigh had knotted up before he’d even reached Rome, and by now they were so constricted that he felt his right leg must surely be at least an inch shorter than his left.
“What happened to your leg?”
Stuart glanced at the girl seated opposite him. “Do you always ask impertinent questions?”
That made her grin. “All the time. It drives Mrs. Simmons mad.”
“I don’t doubt it. But to answer your question, I was mauled by a lioness.”
Her brown eyes went wide. “Really? How exciting.”
Stuart settled back in the corner of his seat, giving her a wry look. He unknotted his tie and removed his collar stud, something he’d been longing to do ever since he’d put them on. Nothing like a stiff, tight collar to remind a man of all that was wrong with civilization.
Laura takes hot and sexy to a tantalizing height in this sexually taunt historical romance. Her characters are witty and interesting, sparring with words as well as kisses.
Her fiesty heiroine, the socially-ruined American heiress, Edie, dares to propose a marriage of convenience with a British Duke! Her only requirement? He has to leave England forever. After all, Edie figures, what could be better for a marriage than a forever-absent groom?
What indeed? How about a intimately present, heart-stopping sexy, and very possessive husband wannabe? His proposal? To have a marriage that is more than a sham, a wife that is more than a fleeting memory, and a life that is filled with love, passion and all the things "real" marriages have in common.
This is a great read. The author chose an American as a "strong," "Independent," and "opinionated" heroine.
Book Bling gives this historical romance 4 1/2 blings!
Laura Lee Guhrke spent seven years in advertising, had a successful catering business, and managed a construction company before she decided writing novels was more fun. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Laura has penned over twenty historical romances. Her books have received many award nominations, and she is the recipient of romance fiction’s highest honor: the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. She lives in the Northwest with her husband (or, as she calls him, her very own romance hero), along with two diva cats and a Golden Retriever happy to be their slave. Laura loves hearing from readers, and you can contact her via her website: www.lauraleeguhrke.com.
USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen concludes her new series with a tale of generosity, passion, and the true kindness of the heart.
A duke who needs to be tamed…a lady who refuses to be rescued.
Adam Chamberlin was the third son of a duke, known for gambling binges and drunken nights. No one expected anything of him …until tragedy strikes. Now Adam is the new Duke of Rothford, determined to right the wrongs he’s done. Except a secret in his past means helping the one woman who doesn’t want his help at all…
It’s not every day that a duke introduces himself to a woman sitting by herself in Hyde Park. Faith Cooper is even more surprised when Adam offers her a position as a lady’s companion to his elderly aunt. Faith refuses to be beholden to a man again-certainly not this man, who both infuriates and attracts her. But with the simmering passion between them, will Faith surrender to forbidden desire?
Adam Chamberlin sat alone in his London study, preoccupied once again by the astonishing realization that he was now the Duke of Rothford—he, the youngest of three sons, who’d been called a scoundrel and a rake and worse by his own brothers. For many years he’d taken great pleasure in living up to that. He and his younger sister were the offspring of his father’s second marriage to a much younger woman who’d brought little but beauty to the family, not property or connections. Adam’s brothers had never let him forget it, although always out of earshot of their father.
He’d deserved Society’s scorn once upon a time; he’d even reveled in it—anything to prove to his brothers that their threats and their condemnation didn’t matter to him.
Before joining the army, he’d never been responsible for anything or anyone. But the Eighth Dragoon Guards had shown him that a man could be judged on his honorable deeds, not his ancestors or his money. He’d been able to start over, to support himself instead of holding his breath waiting for his father to die and his brothers to make good on their threats of cutting him off.
A hunka-hunka-burning man cake! The cover model for Redemption of the Duke looks the part of a crowded bookstore shelf attention-getter! I know I'd reach for it.
As to the content, Gayle Callen introduces stubborn to unmoveable. If that's not a setup for conflict, what is? Even the reformed third-son wastrel turned military reformed Duke Alan Chamberlin may not be a match for controlling-man-conscious Faith Cooper.
It's hard to help someone who doesn't want to be helped, and difficult to make society forget a troubled past. Titles and money do help. Always.
Alan is self-confident. Just entering a room he commands a presence,. It wasn't just the wealth and title though. With him it was the experiences and maturation of a man at war. Soldiers quickly learn to do what must be done and think of consequences to others. If only Faith didn't resent having a man supervise her. With quickly escalating sexual awareness, Faith seems unlikely to be able to resist him for long. But will he still want her if he finds out she's not the innocent he believes?
Some unexpected plot elements make this story stand out from the rest. A must read for those who love steamy, sexy reads
Book Bling gives this story 4 Blings!
After a detour through fitness instructing and computer programming, Gayle Callen found the life she’d always dreamed of as a romance writer. This USA Today bestselling author has written more than eighteen historical romances for Avon Books, and her novels have won the Holt Medallion and the Laurel Wreath Award.
Gayle lives in Central New York with her three children, her dog, Apollo, and her husband, Jim the Romance Hero.
Visit her website at www.gaylecallen.com.
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