A bargain that was all business - and pure passion. Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother. She needs London's top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case - if only she can melt the dashing lord's stony heart. Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London's tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both...and leave their love hanging in the balance.
©2011 P. F. Belsley (P)2014 Tantor
"With another engaging tale for her fans, Linden's talent for building delicious sexual tension keeps the uncomplicated story moving as the characters try to stay focused on their individual goals." ---RT Book Reviews
I enjoyed reading this book (and its two sequels) and really liked listening to the audio book. Gildart Jackson is a new narrator to me, and I adore his voice. I could fall in love with Edward de Lacey just by listening to him. He does, however, need to tweak his heroine a bit; she sounds like a middle-aged spinster aunt rather than a passionate half-Italian young English woman. I think that male narrators should avoid using a falsetto for female voices and just strive for a softer tone. He sometimes talked . . . too . . . deliberately, especially when voicing a female character.
That said, I highly recommend this audio book, especially if you're looking for a steamy, but not crude, read. Edward is just the kind of lover most women desire and Jackson's rendition of Chapters 16, 17, and 18 is lady porn at its finest.
I liked the story and was pleased by the fact that it wasn't the typical earl chasing the virginal miss. The characters were interesting. I enjoyed watching the interplay between the main characters contrasting personalities and the way the heroine caused the hero to loosen up. Linden also writes steamy love scenes! Worth the read.
I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything
Setting & genre: Regency England Romance.
I could not finish this in audio form. The narrator did not differentiate very well between characters. He also...sounded like...he attended the...William Shatner school...of elocution. Seriously. There were stops in the middle of sentences, and the tone of voice didn't seem to match up with the emotions. I even tried listening at 1.25x (I do this with Angela Dawes as her English accent is a bit laconic), but it was no use. I had to seek out a different medium to enjoy the story.
This part of the review is based on the ebook, to which I resorted when I could no longer tolerate the reading. The story is interesting. A bit above average. The base plot is about the state of the Durham dukedom. Edward, our hero, is the responsible, serious, middle son, who has been managing the Durham holdings. He is cold and deliberate. Francesca, out heroine, is a passionate and impetuous widow. They are polar opposites, but, through the secondary plot, they are drawn together both physically and emotionally. The secondary plot is about Francesca's attempts to find and take custody of her late sister's daughter.
The characters grow as the secondary plot is resolved. Edward gets in touch with his inner passionate man, while Francesca finds her inner calm. Edward becomes less controlling, while Francesca gains better self-control.
Bottom line: Get the Kindle and just read it. The narrator is so bad that his performance will yank you right out of the story.
Mixed emotions on this one. The story was great! Two separate plot lines - three if we include the romance - and interesting characters made this an enjoyable "read" but since I listened to an audiobook I have to take points off for the narration. Many points! The reader did a terrible job with Francesca's dialogue. He made her sound like an 80 year old dowager. I found it VERY distracting. I liked the way Francesca was a strong independent woman. Always a positive in a book, as far as I'm concerned. Edward was a good character, too, and I liked the fact that he and his brothers seemed to get along quite well. I'm looking forward to reading their stories.
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