Expected Release Date: January 3, 2013 (re-issue from 1995)
My Source for This Book: Public Library
Part of a Series: No
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Melodramatic
Favorite Tropes: Affair Turns To Love
Fiercely independent Alyssa Carrington deftly ran her father’s English estate for years. But before his death, he auctioned Westgate Manor to the highest bidder, leaving her penniless. Now there was a new lord of the manor-and Alyssa found herself at his mercy…A charismatic ladies’ man, the Duke of Gillingham is more than happy to welcome lovely Alyssa into rooms that were once hers-especially the master bedroom. Never before has he met a woman who so attracts him body and mind. But it is exactly Alyssa’s mind that concerns her. Much as she enjoys the Duke’s attentions, she does not enjoy the longing he inspires. Nor will she become another of his conquests. Yet the Duke has powers of persuasion Alyssa never dreamed possible. Now she must decide whether to risk her sensibly planned future-and her sensibly guarded heart…
What Worked For Me:
- I enjoyed Alyssa’s character quite a bit. Having a bit of an unconventional upbringing, and having been forced to take over the running of her father’s estates, she was already different from many romance heroines. Adding to that the tragic love affair between herself and Morgan, especially with the Big Misunderstanding in the way, and I really admired her character throughout the story.
- Despite his foibles, I did enjoy Morgan’s character as well. He was a Duke, after all, and so while marriage to a woman like Alyssa would be off the table, it was understandable that he would instead make an offer for her to be his mistress. It was his protective instincts as well as his libido that led him to make the offer, after all, and so I was able to almost respect him for that.
- I loved the Big Misunderstanding. When Morgan offered to make Alyssa his mistress, and she (understandably in the moment) mistook his offer for one of marriage, I knew that when the misunderstanding finally came to light it was going to be delightfully ugly, and it was.
What Didn’t Work For Me:
- Though I enjoyed the Big Misunderstanding, the book as a whole was a bit overwrought and melodramatic. I honestly felt that the spy angle was unnecessary, as Alyssa and Morgan had more than enough issues on their plate without it to make things interesting, and instead I think it took away from what could have been a more meaningful romance.
One thing I really loved about this book was the Big Misunderstanding. I know what you’re probably thinking — that Big Misunderstandings in romance are just awful. However, in this case, I knew about the misunderstanding going in (as my copy had a different blurb than the one above that I pulled from Amazon), and I couldn’t wait to see how it would actually come to pass.
I do, however, wish that the spy angle had been left out entirely. I understood that it was somewhat necessary at parts for events to play out as they did, but ultimately, I felt that it took away from what could have been a wonderfully character-driven love story and added too much drama and unneeded twists.
I didn’t realize going into this book that it was a re-issue from 1995. I think, had I known that, I would have enjoyed it a little bit more, because it read like many other romances in that time period — full of melodrama, a heroine who was surprisingly weak when it comes to her hormones, and a spy plot thrown in for seasoning.
In the end, while I didn’t love it, it wasn’t a bad way to pass the time.
A solid 3/5 Stars