Monday, November 14, 2011

Historical eARC Review: Desired by Nicola Cornick

DESIRED by Nicola Cornick
FORMAT: eBook via Netgalley
GENRE: Historical
PUBLISHER: HQN Books (November 15,2011)
ISBN: 9780373775903

Tess Darent’s world is unravelling. Danger threatens her stepchildren and she is about to be unmasked as a radical political cartoonist and thrown into gaol. The only thing that can save her is a respectable marriage. But when it comes to tying the knot Tess requires a very special husband – one who has neither the desire nor the ability to consummate their marriage.

Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury cannot resist Tess when she asks for the protection of his name. But he has no intention of making a marriage in name only. Will the handsome sea captain be able to persuade the notorious widow to give her heart as well as her reputation into his safekeeping?
Where To Find Nicola: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Where To Buy: Amazon | Kindle | B&N/Nook| Book Depository
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
I loved it!
Other Books in Series(click on covers for excerpts):


Oh man! What a great book. I read the first three books of this series and somehow missed out on Notorious (which I will go back and read when I get a chance) but Desired is my favorite. That Owen Purchase, recently minted Viscount Rothbury, is something else.

Tess Darent is the tons scandalously notorious widow. She's racking up husbands like a man collecting mistresses. Husband #1 was her best friend. Husband #2 was an old drunk. Husband #3 did a number on her psyche, verbally, mentally and physically abusing her. She's vowed to never again marry unless the man was impotent and old and very rich. Her outlet is drawing and her political cartoons have the government searching for "Jupiter". They even go to lengths sending in their best man into a brothel searching for this "Jupiter".

Owen Purchase, American and inheriting the title of Viscount Rothbury, has come to England to take responsibility in running his title's accounts and lands. Tess Darent intrigues him and he can't help but wonder what the lovely widow is doing swinging from a bed sheet out the window of a brothel he and his men are searching through. She's fascinated him for some time and he doesn't quite believe that Tess is trying to avoid scandal by rappelling out a brothel window.

With the threat of scandal over hanging her stepdaughter, Tess must find an upstanding Lord to marry. Someone who is old, impotent and loaded. She is willing to give up all her scandalous activities just to make sure a slimy, toady, lecherous old man doesn't get his hands on her fifteen year old stepdaughter. *shudder* And what better way than to look through a book of the tons most eligible bachelors.

Owen talking with her brother-in-law puts an idea into Tess's head. Oh no! Oh, yes! Owen Purchase will be proposed to by one, Teresa Darent. She did propose to each of her past husbands, why not make it a fourth time? Tess proposing intrigues Owen. Neither will back out of the engagement even if it is in name only.

Much to Tess's surprise, her new husband isn't impotent as some people have led her to believe. She must stay strong and not let his advances wear down her defenses. Owen knows that something happened to Tess in her last marriage but not what, which makes her uncomfortable with physical touching.

Now, Owen must make Tess respectable in the eyes of the ton, keep her from getting discovered as "Jupiter" by making her promise not to draw anymore, find the traitor who is willing to betray Tess for a handsome sum of money and show her that touching is a pleasurable thing.

FAVORITE QUOTE: "We need to find you a duke or a prince, old enough to die within a year or two so that his continued existence does not inconvenience you, sickly enough not to be interested in his marital rights and rich enough to increase your fortune! How very romantic!" (***quote subject to change in finished copy***)

OVERALL: Danger, suspense, betrayal, lies, spies, desire, lust and sacrifice. Whoa! This book hooked me from the first mention of Tess escaping capture by rappelling out a brothel window to the happily ever after on the last page. It always makes my heart ache knowing that the heroine of the story has been abused by a previous husband. The mental barriers are sometimes so great that the hero must tread carefully as not to scare her away at the slightest touch. Owen has a way of making Tess feel safe and stirs something in her that scares her a little. Owen and Tess may have started off trying to push the other as far as the other would be willing to go but as the barriers are slowly taken down, their passion for one another explodes off the pages and not only love but respect blossoms.

***requested off Netgalley***

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