A woman running a prestigious London auction house? Preposterous! But that is exactly what Emma Fairbourne intends to do when her father dies, leaving her the reins of this fabulous enterprise.
Of course, she is not addlepated enough to do this openly and scare away her wealthy collectors. So she and her friend concoct a deception, hiring a handsome and charming front man who will do her bidding.... All would have proceeded smoothly - if it weren't for the maddening interference of Darius, the arrogant Earl of Southwaite, who has been her father's "silent partner" and now shares ownership of Fairbourne's.
An earl, of course, has no interest in running an auction house - and Darius is certainly not interested in allowing the lovely Miss Fairbourne to run it either, her ludicrous scheme notwithstanding. Clearly the business must be sold. But the headstrong Emma is like no other lady he has ever encountered, refusing to follow his dictates. Holding his temper in check, Darius decides to attack on a different front. There is another way to achieve her surrender, one far more pleasurable for both of them.
©2012 Madeline Hunter (P)2012 Tantor
"Richly imbued with a deliciously dry sense of humor and graced with a striking cast of characters, the latest impeccably researched Regency romance by RITA Award winner Hunter is a masterpiece of wit and passion." (Booklist)
This story though set in the past surprised me with its modern relevance about a young woman who through her intelligence and independent will triumphs over life's greatest challenges while also giving herself the chance to fall deeply and passionately in love.
The narrator Alison Larkin manages to give each word its own power and makes you feel that you are listening to a great mystery that unfolds with such sensuous and revelatory twists you never want it to stop.
Larkin reveals a complete range of emotion for the heroine from an intelligent management of a challenging business, to the description of romantic scenes that have a special erotic charge.
This is the kind of writing and narrating that lift these recorded books unto a new kind of art form that offeres an extra dimension of emotion and involvement.
It reminds me of many best sellers that describe the challenges facing young women who must find a way to balance great love while also creating their own unique and independent lives.
Alison Larkin's own book The English American also deals with that very profound and universal subject.
I don't think anyone could have captured the various accents and styles and emotions of the various characters as well as Larkin. She manages to give the major personalities a whole range of powerful emotions. And I feel that the romantic and even erotic scenes could not have been conveyed with more persuasive artistry.
A woman of wit and passion conquers all
Bravo to Alison Larkin from bringing this original heroine to life in such a dramatic way in this narration!
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