I had no phone line for a few days this week, therefore couldn't come back and post my review as soon as I normally would...and I am behind in my reviews as well. I actually finished this a week ago, so it is a bit of a stretch to remember what I was going to say.
What is the price of love?
Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his
mission will be easily accomplished — but that was before he met the lady in
For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition — one he has never offered before.
He asks her to be his bride.
And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know — that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London's most notorious lover might claim Charlotte's body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.
Given the blurb above, it sounds as though Nick Gentry is a real rake, and yet, the prologue makes it clear that whilst Nick might have been a man with a criminal past, and has his own deep dark secrets, the one thing that he is not is a man with a chequered sexual past. He has however been thoroughly schooled by Gemma Bradshaw, a madam with a heart of gold who I first read about in Suddenly You. Thinking about it though, this book might have been published before Suddenly You, so maybe it really is the other way round. Oh well...I first read about her in Suddenly You!
After being forced to become a Bow Street Runner, Nick has spent the last couple of years becoming one of the best Runner's there has ever been. He has also been taking on private jobs, and his latest one is to search for Miss Charlotte Howard. He has been hired to do this by the man that Charlotte has practically been betrothed to since she was a very young girl. Her parents agreed to the match in exchange for money and for schooling for Charlotte, during which time Lord Radnor has tried to shape and control the young girl into his idea of the perfect woman.
When he finds Charlotte at the estate of Marcus, Lord Westcliff, (who in turn is the hero from the second of the current series of Wallflower book It Happened One Autumn), he is relieved that his two month search is over, but what he does not count on is an attraction to his quarry. He also finds out that Lottie is terrified of Lord Radnor and eventually finds himself offering marriage. That of course is not the end of the matter as far as Lord Radnor is concerned, and once he finds out that the man he sent to return Lottie to him has taken her as his own, there will of course be consequences.
However even before that, Lottie must find ways of breaking through the hard outer shell that protects the man inside. Her task is made all that much harder when Nick is told that he is no longer required as a runner, and that it is time that he steps forward and takes the title that is rightfully his - something that Nick has no interest in doing!
This was a delightful read as we gradually see Nick lower his barriers to Lottie, as he tutors her in the art of sex, as he learns about love, and as he understands that his life is going to be different from now on.
One thing about names though....I really did not like the fact that the heroine was called Lottie! Don't really know why, but it just isn't a name that I can imagine someone screaming out in the middle of a passionate embrace! Oh Lottie! Nup.
It had been suggested around the place that Nick Gentry gives Derek Craven a run for his money in the 'Who is Lisa Kleypas' hottest hero' race! And I would agree with that, but I do think that Derek would win by a short half head - photo finish required!
An entertaining read. Then again, it is a Kleypas!