He must be wealthy, wellborn, and want her more than he wants any other woman. Those are the conditions that must be met by the man Cassandra Belmont chooses for her lover. Marriage is out of the question for the destitute widow who stands accused of murdering her husband and must now barter her beauty in order to survive.
With seduction in mind, she sets her sights on Stephen Huxtable, the irresistibly attractive Earl of Merton and London's most eligible bachelor. But Stephen's first intriguing glimpse of the mysterious, alluring Lady Paget convinces him that he has found the ideal woman to share his bed. There is only one caveat. This relationship fueled by mutual pleasure must be on his terms.
As the two warily circle each other in a sensual dance of attack and retreat, a single night of passion alters all the rules. Cassandra, whose reputation is already in tatters, is now in danger of losing the one thing she vowed never to give. And Stephen, who wants Cassandra more than he has ever wanted any woman, won't rest until she has surrendered everything - not as his mistress - but as his lover and wife.
Need more romance? Listen to the rest of Mary Balogh's Huxtable Series.
©2009 Delacorte Press; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This is the 4th book in the series and is Stephen's story. We were introduced to Stephen in the first book when he inherited the title of Earl of Merton at the age of 16. We watched him grow in book 2 and 3. This is his story and happy ending. In a strike of genius, Mrs Balogh has interconnected the Huxtable stories in a very unique way:
Book 1 - Vanessa proposes marriage to Elliott when they were pratically strangers
Book2 - Catherine is seduced by Jasper on their first encounter
Book 3 - Meg challenges Duncan to make her fall in love with him
And finally, in book 4, Cassandra offers to be Stephen's mistress on their first interaction. A little reverse psychology by Mrs Balogh!
Cassandra is the female version of Duncan, self sacrificing, compassionate and unjustly shunned by society. Her battered past turned her into a cynic about love. Desperate to survive and protect her female dependents, she decides to offer herself to Stephen as a mistress. Little did she know that if the Huxtables are about one thing, is their optimism and belief in love and family. Stephen and Cassy engage in a sexual relationship too soon, but it takes them on a journey where both earn the title of "angel". Book 4 was just as good as book 3 as this author never disappoints. The story comes full circle and ends with the same scene book 1 started with: Con talking to the soul of his dead brother in the graveyard. I emailed Mrs Balogh (isn't she the coolest author) and she informed me that Con's story "Taming the Devil" is due out June 2010. I just can't wait.
I read the first 2 books of this series and fell in love with them. This one and one before I listened to and even tho I will listen to them again I didnt feel like they were as good as the first 2 books. I really didnt care for the story line in this one. I was disappointed that it didn't finish Con's story but seen a review earlier that said there was to be another book. Will read or listen to that one too! The book was ok but I was expecting more from the storyline that was already built from the first 3 books.
I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must
I didn't like the premise at first but after a bit I was in love with Stephen (he's all grown up now) and didn't want to push pause. I did want to slap Cassandra a few times. The supporting characters are great in this book. The plot was okay, there wasn't much excitement or mystery. I enjoyed this book.
I've enjoyed all the books in the series and being a hopless romantic, have listened to them all again
I guess nothing really memorable - just an enjoyable listen with no real violence, easy to listen to and relax.
Anne Flosnik is a pleasure to listen to and makes the characters come to life.
Anne Flosnik always does a very good job with her narrations.
While this story was a little predictable it was a nice ending to the series. I do wish she would carry on tho with a story about Con, the illegimate son.
Stephen's story is a little boring. Too little drama and predictable ending. Still good enough to listen to, but not Balogh's best.
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