|Mass Market Paperback. Cover.|
Rating: 4.4 stars!
Okay, here goes nothing.
I've owned this book for sometime now, but whenever came a time when I needed a new book to read, I would hedge out of picking this one up -and I still don't know why- even though the cover held a sort-of conspiring hold on me since I never could completely ignore its presence.
After reading this novel, I think I need to concede once again and repeat: Elizabeth Hoyt really is an amazing writer!
Edward De Raaf was an interesting hero, and I liked him. His character was that of a bossy man of intellect, in possession of a biting tongue-when he chose to use it- and a quick temper. One thing that bothered me a little was his habit of throwing/smashing stuff around to dispel his bad mood, even when there was nothing to be so mad about.. Seemed too much like a child throwing tantrum to me, but I can definitely get over that since the rest of him was quite likable.
One of the attractions of this man that I couldn't resist was that he was made to seem real.He could've been that friend who's grumpy and rude but someone you can always count on or that guy in your office who has a permanent scowl marring his face but you can't help liking him for his dry humor and wit.
I can think up a scene where he's so mad in rage that he's almost cruel. I can also think up a scene where he's so in love that he makes you smile. What I mean to say is that there are no sappy lines or cliché scenes which you skim to reach the better part and he isn't like those incredibly brooding heroes with bodies as perfect as Adonis, but a man of vibrant personality (I'm not saying that he didn't frustrate me, just a pinch, at times) with a nameless dog you can't help but adore.
Anna Wren, the widow of six years who takes up a job as the secretary to the Earl of Swartingham to generate means to run her home, was a character with a soft-heart and quick mind. I liked the heroine okay -and a little more sometimes when she wasn't being ridiculous- although my mental ticker clock did, at times, went from "tolerating" to "unrecognizable sounds", which I know as groaning. Not to sound too unfair, the chit was actually quite good. In the beginning she did baffle me with a hint of what seemed like doormat tendencies, but my fears were soon put to rest as I discovered that she was a lively woman prone to moments of weakness.
It would be fit to say that I quite liked the book and enjoyed it very much. There were times that Anna's decisions or her thoughts made me frown or shake my head, but it was for times like this one here, I continued on.
"“WHAT DO YOU mean, you won’t marry me?” Edward paced from the curio shelf at one end of the small sitting room to the settee at the other end, pivoted, and came back again. Not such a great feat since he could cross the entire room in three strides. “I’m an earl, goddammit!”
Anna grimaced. She should never have let him into the cottage. Of course, she hadn’t had much choice at the time, since he’d threatened to break down the door if she didn’t open it.
He had looked quite capable of doing it, too.
“I won’t marry you,” she repeated.
“Why not? You were eager enough to fuck me.”
Anna winced. “I do wish you would stop using that word.”
Edward swung around and assumed a hideously sarcastic expression. “Would you prefer swive? Tup? Dance the buttock jig?”
She compressed her lips. Thank goodness Mother Wren and Fanny had gone shopping this morning. Edward was making no effort to lower his voice.
“You don’t want to marry me.” Anna spoke slowly and enunciated each word as if talking to a hard-of-hearing village idiot.
“Whether I want to marry you or not isn’t the issue, as you well know,” Edward said. “The fact is, I must marry you.”
“Why?” She blew out a breath. “There is no possibility of a child. As you have made abundantly clear, you know I am barren.”
“I have compromised you.”
“I’m the one who went to Aphrodite’s Grotto in disguise. It seems to me that I compromised you.” Anna thought it commendable that she did not wave her arms in the air in exasperation.
“That’s ridiculous!” Edward’s bellow could probably be heard back at the Abbey.
Why did men think that saying something louder made it true?""
Of course, like Hoyt's every other book, this one deserves no less than 4 stars and has an incredible blend of excellent writing, sensual story-line and new concept with a lingering promise of more.
As the story progressed on, came a scene where Anna decided to go all selfless and sacrificing and left our charming Earl for the greater good.
Now, I've never been one for sacrifices. Personally, I'd much rather prefer to whip out some bold, totally whacky plan- as long as it doesn't involve getting killed, going after the hero going after the villain and ending up getting held by the villain with a knife sticking to the throat while he tries to wheedle his way out using the heroine as leverage, or God forbid- swooning, and other such disastrous outcomes- to really kick some ass than make a sacrifice that involves losing my one true love, or my best pair of stilettos for that matter. So it was with great relief, and few muted cheers, that I read the part when Anna --finally-- realized that she was being such a virginal doormat-types, mousey, walk-all-over-me, I-think-doing-stuff-like-this-makes-me-a-nice-sacrificing-person-while-in-reality-I'm-a-bloody-nuisance-and-even-my-BFFs-know-that-but-I'm-too-far-gone-to-see-that person and thankfully resumed to bad-ass mode. Of course, we can now excuse her first knee-jerk reaction to run out and focus on the good part!
"Anna hastily averted her gaze and continued her search. Her plan was simple: find the blackmailer and lure him away from the Grotto before Edward got to him. The problem was that she didn’t know who the blackmailer was. In fact, she didn’t even know if it was a man."*snort* My reaction to "Her plan was simple: find the blackmailer and lure him away from the Grotto before Edward got to him": Yea sure, Sparky.
Anyway, I'm heartily satisfied by the way the book ended. In fact, I'm better off saying that I absolutely loved the ending! A really good book, I'm not saying that it's a perfect historical romance read or anything, but it's definitely worth a try. Or maybe two, if you end up liking it a lot.
P.S: I loved Simon, Vicount Iddesleigh, even though his role was quite short and mattered mostly in the end. I'm hoping the next book's about him!
PPS: Mr.Davis quite reminded me of the house-elves from HP series, Kreacher specifically, although without any real negative feelings towards his master but still quite a cheeky presence. It would be quite appropriate to say that I liked him too.
This review can also be read on my Goodreads profile.