by Jennifer Haymore
Release Date: Jan 31, 2012
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...
It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.
The first third to half of this book was utterly amazing with an engrossing and over the top romantic love story. If the middle and last part of the book were like this as well, I would have definitely given this one 5 stars and more! However, the middle and later parts of the book were consumed with the villain and some less than believable kidnapping and murder plots. Which was really disappointing, because the main characters and romance were so fantastic! Still, since I loved the first part so much, I'm giving this one 4.5 stars and whole heartedly recommending it to romance fans.
Max and Olivia were so very sweet together, they had a romance that was free from all the petty squabbles and misunderstandings we see so often. It did seem jarring that they hopped into bed so quickly, just because Max was so respectful and it seemed out of character for Olivia too. However, I do see how this was necessary to the overall plot, especially the villians' motives, etc.
I really love the supporting cast of this book. Both Jonathan and Serena (Meg?) were back in a big way. Jonathan was truly adorable as the overprotective brother in law (another reason why the aforementioned bed hopping didn't work for me). And I'm thrilled Captain Langley was back as well. I absolutely cannot wait for his story next. I am so happy with the direction his story is headed in and I have to add "I knew it!"
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: The romance between these two leads is just the sort of sweet, all consuming love that I love to read about. The only drawback is that not enough time was focused on the romance, and too much attention was on the villain.
Hachette books has generously provided three copies of this historical romance for readers of my blog!
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