Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review: Secrets of An Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

FORMAT: Paperback
GENRE: Historical
LENGTH: 418 pages
PUBLISHER: Forever (February 1,2012)

Secret Seduction
With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: Seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that dangerous unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a madman at his own twisted game---or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.
Where To Find Jennifer: Author Site | Twitter | Facebook
Where To Buy: Amazon(pb) | Kindle | B&N(pb) | Nook | Powell's
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
I loved it
Other Books in Series(click on covers for more):
available now
novella available
coming 8/2012

Welcome to London, playground of the rich and titled. Gossip runs amok in the ballrooms, drawing rooms, carriages and theater of the ton. Wagers are a common thing among the peer whether it's horseflesh, cards or seducing a woman of her virtue.

Spotted: A certain Maxwell Buchanan, Lord Hasley, soon-to-be Duke of Wakefield making a wager with nemesis Leonard Reece, Marquis of Fenwicke, future Duke of Southington, of whether a certain Miss Olivia Donovan, would allow MB to steal more than kisses. Signed and dated, the bet is on. Who have you placed your bets on?

Brace Yourself Sussex! A house party. Is anything as grand or as delightful as a house party? Of course not. This girl has been informed a certain MB and OD have been spotted along the lake feeding geese and feeling an instant attraction that shouldn't be happening. It's been said that OD has her life planned out. She will be the best Auntie to her sisters' children and live with Lord and Lady Stratford. What kind of life is that when a gorgeous soon-to-be Duke has his sights, hands and lips set on you?

Rumor has it... that MB and OD have been spending quite a bit of time together. Walking, talking, playing tennis (isn't that bad for someone who has had malaria and comes down with a fever every once in a while?), stealing kisses, sharing smoldering stares. That's right all you old biddy gossips, there might be something more. Shall we put a wedding in the wager books?

Can You Say Obsessed And Dangerous? Sources inform me that LR is not the man he portrays himself to be. Whispers of 'wife beater' and 'short temper' has been circulating. The sisters Donovan have become quite friendly with his wife who lives next door and has some suspicious looking bruises certainly not from accidentally falling. (Miss Jessica Donovan is willing to risk her life to save Beatrice Reece's. Go girl! No one should have to take that kind of abuse. Ever. Even if he is her husband.) LR is quite the ladies man. He's got women left and right throwing themselves at him even though he's got a wife locked up in his estate in Sussex. How rude! Rumor has it, he even tried to proposition OD in a totally inappropriate fashion. In a dark corner of a London ballroom. Talking dirty doesn't do it for everyone, LR.

Complications! So MB and OD have fallen into a comfortable companionship and it's been rumored that they've done the horizontal tango. Quite a number of times. Apparently if OD is to live her life as a spinster, she might as well enjoy the pleasures of the flesh while it's available to her. But MB has other things in mind. He's come to l-- Dare I say it? Love! And so has she. The only two things standing between them are a frightening relapse of a fever and a bet that was made before they knew each other. *shakes head*

So the real question is: Will OD succumb to the fever and cling by a thread but with the help of MB can overcome it to declare their love for one another or will the revelation of a wager placed on OD's virtue tear them apart. What was real and what wasn't? Was OD just another notch on MB's bedpost?

That's a secret I'll never tell (and you'll have to read if you want to find out)...

Romance Girl :)

"Any pursuit will be a happy one, as long as I pursue it with you."

OVERALL: Uh, why have I not read Jennifer Haymore before? Don't answer that. I've been living under a rock. These are my second favorite Donovans. Seriously. This was such a fun and refreshing story built on intense attraction that should have turned my book into ash, all the while keeping me teetering on the edge as to whether Olivia's sickness would creep up and destroy their budding relationship. Max drew me in from the moment he made that bet with Fenwicke (can you say Creepy Ass Creepy of The First Order?) as to whether Olivia would succumb to his charms to the point of giving up her virtue. My eyes went wide when he accepted it. I'm glad that Olivia has a strong and independent spirit even though she might is constantly struck with fevers (left over from her bout with malaria) and that Max saw her as so even if the gentlemen of the ton would shy away because of it. Never have I ever put down a book so many times just gasping for air. Of all the books I've read this one definitely struck a chord. Domestic abuse is not to be taken lightly or accepted even if a woman does belong to her husband. I wanted to crawl into the pages, shake Beatrice and tell her to run for her life. Of course I wanted to shake her until she came to her senses but then I'd have been no better than her husband. Ms. Haymore, your books have been added to The List.

***review copy provided by publisher***

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