Dear Mrs. Balogh,
Now for the second report of the double-header. Wow, I really loved this book! Great follow-up to “Dark Angel.”
Love has not been kind to Samantha Newman, but friendship has. When her emotions are rubbed raw by the reappearance in her life of a villain who had broken her heart some years before, she turns with gratitude to the kindly Hartley Wade, with whom she had developed a warm friendship when she mistook him for a gardener during a visit to the country. She accepts his proposal, expecting a quiet, safe, undemanding marriage. She does not know that Hartley is the Marquess of Carew and that he loves her passionately–and believes she returns his feelings.
Carew-God, I love this man. He doesn’t whine or pity himself. He makes the best of what he has. And no false cure for his physical problems! He’s willing to try to forgive Lionel (boo, hiss) but when the chips are down, he defends himself and his lady. And he does a mean garden. I’d love to have him come take a look at mine. He seems like he’s going to make a wonderful father and would be kind to small animals.
Samantha-nice character development over the course of the two books. She believably went from a giddy 18 year old, gawking at London to a weary, more mature person at the end of DA. I can see how she’d want to spare herself from being hurt in love again. She almost went into a six year hibernation after what Lionel (boo, hiss) did to her and I loved her comment to Hartley that “You put sunshine back in my life.”
Cover- this man is plain?! Not in my book. I wanted the red head in the background with the dark haired man to be Jennifer and Gabe but was thwarted-bummer.
Marriage Bed- Aunt Aggy should not be allowed to give any tender young thing any sex-ed lectures. lowly count to 10 my ass.
3 Day Honeymoon- Hubba, hubba Hartley. The man is insatiable! He could give an erotica hero a run for is money. Definitely not a wham, bam, thank you ma’am kind of guy.
Boxing scene- Payback! Oh, this was great. I soooo love the ending. No grand forgiveness, I’m-above-all-that nonsense from Hartley. Lionel (boo, hiss) got what he deserved for hurting Hartley so many years ago and for hurting Samantha more recently. And Samantha had a nice touch of bloodthirstiness herself.
Fountain scene-YES, Samantha! You go girl. Kick him where it counts then jack-slap him upside the head. Hoo-aah!
I also loved the quiet scene at the end when Samantha massaged Hartley’s hand, something no one else had ever done for him. And when she finally realized and explained to Hartley that she loved him. That he is her best friend as well as her lover. Lovely ending to a lovely book. Thanks.