Expected Release Date: June 25, 2013
Author’s Website: http://www.julieannelong.com/
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 8, Pennyroyal Green Series
Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: None
Favorite Tropes: Second+ Son, Wickedly Funny
More than one beautiful woman’s hopes have been dashed on the rocky shoals of Jonathan Redmond’s heart. With his riveting good looks and Redmond wealth and power, the world is his oyster—until an ultimatum from his father and a chilling gypsy prophesy send him hurtling headlong toward a fate he’ll do anything to avoid: matrimony.
Intoxicating, elusive Thomasina de Ballesteros has the bloods of London at her feet. But none of them knows the real Tommy—the one with a shocking pedigree, a few too many secrets, and a healthy scorn for rakes like Jonathan.
She is everything Jonathan never wanted. But on one fateful midnight, he’s drawn into Tommy’s world of risk, danger…and a desire he’d never dreamed possible. And suddenly he’s re-thinking everything…including the possibility that succumbing to prophesy might just mean surrendering to love.
What Worked For Me:
- I adored the humor in this story. It was almost unexpected, as there are some rather serious issues being dealt with by both protagonists, but it kept the story from being too heavy.
- I also liked that while this is Book 8 in a series, it worked well as a standalone. I myself have read a few of the previous novels, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve done so, and I never felt as though I were missing anything from the main story by not having read all of the previous installments.
- The scene with the gypsy was hilarious, and I loved how the prophecies from the fortune tellers came to pass.
- The Unresolved Sexual Tension was wonderful, and the author knew just how long to tease before finally giving into some lovely steam.
- I loved Tommy’s “pedigree”. It was heartbreaking and yet her knowledge of it gave her some very powerful motivation.
- I loved that Tommy was in the business of helping those who were victims of circumstance, despite the fact that she herself barely maintained a modicum of acceptance in society.
- Jonathan was scrumptious. I really enjoyed the fact that he was not the heir to a title — it’s not often we get a hero who isn’t a Duke or Viscount or whatnot — and that he desperately wanted to be taken seriously with his own business acumen.
- Jonathan’s seemingly mundane talent at darts played a big part in a rather pivotal scene, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
- The playing cards with the faces of the most beautiful women of the ton was a wonderful idea, and the bet that Jonathan would marry based on the “chance” of picking a card added a lovely amount of tension to the story.
- On a similar note, the scene where Jonathan actually chooses his bride practically had me swooning.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Since it simply wouldn’t do to have a review without at least one negative point, I will say that Tommy had a decidedly Too Stupid To Live moment in response to losing something of great value to her. It was a mild issue, though, and one that actually brought about one of the more romantic scenes of the book, so I forgave her completely almost as soon as it had happened.
It isn’t often that I read a book that makes me laugh, makes me tear up, makes me fan myself, and makes me grin even as I turn the final page. This book did that and more.
With an ideal combination of tension and humor, steam and sweetness, I couldn’t put it down, and have, in fact, already read it twice at the time of this review.
Our heroine, Tommy, had so much passion, for her mission to end child labor, for her determination to gain acceptance by her natural father, and for life itself, that I couldn’t help but love her. Jonathan, too, tugged my heartstrings, with his tenuous relationship with his father, and his affection for Tommy as well as his own growing passion for her cause.
This is, without a doubt, one of the best historical romances I’ve read all year.
A very solid 5/5 Stars