Jayne FresinaMass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (June 5, 2012)
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
"A scintillating debut...as addictive as chocolate."—Mia Marlowe, author of Touch of a Rogue
"Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentleman without other attachments need not apply."—Miss Sophie Valentine
A SCANDALOUS LADY
Sophie Valentine knew placing an ad for a husband in the Farmers Gazette would bring her trouble-and she was right. When the darkly handsome, arrogantly charming Lazarus Kane shows up on her doorstep, the nosy residents of Sydney Dovedale are thrown into a gossiping tizzy. After all, it's common knowledge that Sophie is a young lady In Need of Firmer Direction. But even Sophie isn't so scandalous as to marry a complete stranger. .. is she?
SEEKS HANDSOME STRANGER
Lazarus Kane has been searching for Sophie half of his life. She may not remember him, but he could never forget her. But the past is a dangerous thing, and it's best if his remains secret if he wants to tempt Sophie with ...
A MOST IMPROPER PROPOSAL
Sophie Valentine’s introduction to intimacy at age 18 lasted two and half minutes. Unfortunately the resulting ruining scandal and related scars are still with her ten years later. Her young beau, a childhood friend with status and expectancies, had offered marriage but Sophie wanted more than what she perceived as a convenient marriage where it was likely he would seek pleasures on the side.
At age 28, Sophie lives with her brother and sister-in-law who are ready for her to marry and move out. Her brother has managed to run up debts from gambling and indulging his indolent, demanding wife. The wife is constantly whining and haranguing Sophie. Sophie is still impetuous and in a moment of angry exasperation she has created trouble again by placing an ad for a husband in the Farmers Gazette.
Surprisingly the ad brings in two gentlemen seeking to marry her. One is a dark handsome stranger, Lazarus Kane. The other is Sophie’s childhood beau who has believed himself to be enamored of her and hopes that finally she will accept him, even if he has to “buy” her through her brother.
Lazarus has cleaned himself up to present himself as an acceptable and determined suitor. He is not a gentleman of means but he has rented a cottage farm that holds a fond place in Sophie’s heart. He is willing to work hard to convince her that she is his angel and that time is too precious to waste. He just isn’t willing to admit his past right away or the secret that he has been looking for her for half his life.
Jayne Fresina writes a story with wonderful wit, charm and vibrant descriptions that I loved! See some of the quotes below.) I really liked the quirky, less than perfect characters, the fun trouble that surrounds Sophie, and Lazarus’ romantic determination to win her. I was totally delighted with the story until about midway when the romance moved into some heavier sexual scenes which repeated more than necessary for my tastes. Again, this is an area that many romance readers will enjoy. I just prefer softer heat or at least fewer scenes as a little heat goes a long way for me. Even with the extra steamy scenes I still really like the writing of this author and will want to try more from her. If you like fun and really charming historical romance, and don’t mind the heated scenes, I do recommend you get this book to enjoy.
Here are examples of the vibrant writing style I so enjoyed:
... for everything was turned upside down, and her own nerves spun about like tumbling maple seeds. Page 38/Location 612
The countryside was at peace as it settled in to embrace the evening, like a mother with her arms around a play-weary child. Page 69/ Location 1040
The sun, like a playwright with all the winding threads of his imagination exhauted, put down his quill and dipped his weary head to rest. Lon shadows slowly crept across the ground, the bronzed fingers of sunset stretching to eas the cramp of a long day's writing. Page 79/Location 1233.
But she saw the gleam in his eyes, and Sophie knew how it felt to be taken by surprise, kidnapped and held ransom by a sudden sensation, a desire that came unwanted, unbidden. Page 158/Location 2424.
Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing this book to read and review.I will add this to my ARC and New Author challenge lists.
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