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Posts Tagged ‘Enigmatic Hero’

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(Mad Passions, #3)

Genre: Historical Romance (Victorian)

Cover Blurb

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor……

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart….

♥♥♥♥♥♥

**5 Dark, Compelling Stars**

Each time I read a Maire Claremont book, I find myself totally immersed in the compelling world she creates and her fascinating, flawed characters.

How I imagine James…

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“You’ve forsaken yourself and the man I know you to be.”

In Lady in Red, James was a secondary character just begging to have his own story. He was crude, dripped sarcasm and was addicted to opium. I knew his story was going to be an emotionally powerful one and I wasn’t disappointed.

Ms Claremont writes with such depth that I shared all James’s emotions as if they were my own. I felt his gut-wrenching pain at the loss of his wife and daughter…

His heart split, and grief spilled from him in wave after unrelenting, punishing wave.

and experienced the harrowing effects of his drug addiction…

Unease gripped his gut. He’d never experienced anything like this and was heading out into the wilds, no compass, no map, and no provisions.

At times, the realism was almost unbearable but it was what kept me turning the pages because I longed to see this broken man find himself again.

How I imagine Margaret…

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Everything about this world had taught her how important it was to take the correct path, to live rightly, and to never allow one’s self to be ruled by emotion.

James needs a special kind of heroine and Margaret is just what he needs… calm, unafraid and determined.

That careful gaze probed him without mercy . Pushing against his barriers, determined to breach him.

Margaret has had her share of pain as she watched the suffering caused by the famine in Ireland and the devastating emotional affect it had on her parents and her brother. She has built a thick armour around her heart because the only way to help those who need her, is to remain emotionally detached.

It was such a heart-rending, poignant, dramatic and passionate journey for these two, but ultimately seeing James finally emerging from the darkness and learning how to love again and Margaret opening her heart to him was so rewarding.

That oh so glorious smile of hers lit up the ballroom in a way that candles simply could not. It lit up his soul.

I didn’t know what to think about the Earl of Carlyle, James’s father. At first, it seemed that the only reason he wanted Margaret to help James might be because he was the Earl’s only son and heir and the line was in danger of dying out. It soon became clear that he genuinely loved James and would do anything to help him. There had been discord between them over the years because of the tragic events of the past but it was wonderful to see them finally reconciled. That scene really brought a tear to my eye.

Once again, Ms Claremont pushes the boundaries of traditional historical romance with this compelling and intensely emotional story. A must read!

REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read April 2014

The Mad Passions series (click on the book cover for more details):

The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1) by Maire Claremont Lady in Red (Mad Passions, #2) by Maire Claremont A Lady Undone (Mad Passions, #2.5) by Maire Claremont The Dark Affair (Mad Passions, #3) by Maire Claremont

 

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A Duchess to Remember (Ministry of Marriage, #3)

MINISTRY OF MARRIAGE #3

Official Blurb

Lady Cecily Westruther is nothing if not practical. By agreeing to marry an older duke who already has an heir and a mistress, she can assume a wifely role—without the wifely duties. Only one thing stands in her way—a  letter that could destroy her betrothal. Desperate to retrieve that letter, Cecily must match wits with the most dangerously seductive man she’s ever known…

Disguised as a footman, Cecily gains entry to her adversary’s house—only to be unmasked by London’s most powerful man. Rand, Duke of Ashburn, is accustomed to getting any woman he wants—and he wants Cecily. He will stop at nothing, including seduction, to make her his. But Rand holds a secret more shocking and destructive than that letter could ever be…

★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★

This is the third book in Christina Brooke’s Ministry of Marriage series and although maybe not as good as Mad About the Earl, it’s still an enjoyable read.

I liked Cecily in the previous two books. She’s intelligent, independent, vivacious and witty; always a thorn in the side of her guardian, the Duke of Montford. So her willingness to accept the arranged marriage with the dull, mild-mannered Duke of Norland does seem a little out of character but he’s the perfect choice as far as she’s concerned. They have agreed to lead separate lives enabling Cecily to continue to lead the independent life she desires without the constraints of an autocratic husband.

Rand is my favourite type of hero. He’s enigmatic, powerful and confident but vulnerable as well. I love the poignant scene in which he tells Cecily about the most valued part of his inheritance. It really tore at my heart- strings to realise how lonely he must have been growing up and why he had never before been able to trust anyone with his heart.

So when they meet, I knew there would fireworks with two such strong-willed characters. Rand is totally captivated by Cecily and I love his sheer determination to make her his. He’s prepared to use every weapon in his armoury whether it be deceit or seduction. He’s not above manipulating the Duke of Montford or planting seeds of doubt in Norland’s mind about the marriage. I love a hero in hot pursuit of a stubborn heroine! Although Cecily is madly attracted to Rand, she’s not about to succumb. After all, he’s the type of compelling, autocratic man she wishes to avoid at all costs. So Ms Brooke creates great sexual tension as Rand pursues and Cecily retreats and I love their smart, witty repartee.

I enjoyed meeting up with Cecily’s cousins, Jane and Rosamund, again and Ms Brooke also adds a touch of mystery to the proceedings.

If you like a a stubborn heroine and a hero in hot pursuit combined with great sexual tension and a touch of mystery, this book wins on all counts.

RATING: ★★★★

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