Oct 172012
 

Again the Magic McKenna is a stable boy, Lady Aline Marsden is the eldest daughter of the Earl of Westcliffe. They grew up on the estate together and Aline, ignored by her parents, ran wild with him during childhood. They fell in love knowing nothing could ever come of it and on being discovered by the Earl of Westcliffe, McKenna was sent away. Aline knew he would never stay away unless she made him believe she never cared for him at all.

Twelve years later her father is dead and McKenna returns to the estate as a wealthy American businessman with one thing on his mind – revenge against the woman who discarded him as if he was a piece of dirt beneath her feet. Aline has her own secrets however, and knows she can never allow McKenna close to her again.

What a great story this is, I absolutely loved it. As you know from my reviews I am very into romance and that is what this is, a fantastic romance with everything you could wish for.  There are actually two stories for the price of one here as Aline’s sister Olivia has her own romance with Gideon Shaw, the American who accompanies McKenna back to the estate.  Of course they have their own baggage and problems. There is no doubt though, that this is primarily about Aline and McKenna and I think Gideon and Olivia could have had their own book, as I was not so invested in their romance which all seemed a bit rushed.

McKenna is so sexy and I love the fact he comes back to the estate where he was first a stable boy and then a footman but this time as a wealthy man. At the beginning of the story when Aline says those cruel words to him I wanted to cry – in fact I did a little bit! It was a good thing though because nothing would ever have come of a servant and a Lady, no matter how much they loved each other nor how progressive a thinker her brother, the new Earl was.

Aline was a bit annoying at times, particularly when she would not trust McKenna with her secrets despite the fact he clearly loved her, but if she had, the story would have been much shorter and nowhere near as emotional.

One thing I love from the few books I have read by Ms Kleypas is her ability to put such emotion into the story. I really feel emotionally attached to the characters and as a result when the happy ending comes (as they always do of course!) I feel extremely satisfied rather than just happy, as can be the case with many other authors.

There is sex of course and the author writes this very well without going over the top.  I do wonder, do people really go at it four or five times in one go as some authors seem to think?

In summary if you like a historical romance which will leave you feeling very satisfied and happy without being too sappy I cannot recommend this book enough, and based on the few Lisa Kleypas books I have read, she is definitely now one of my favourite historical authors.

Feb 272012
 

Lady Calpurnia Hartwell (Callie to her friends), is an acknowledged spinster.  She sits in the ‘spinster seating’ at balls and wears the lace hat that denotes her as such. At the age of 28 she knows no one would ever offer for her and has resigned herself to her fate. Her romantic inclinations, caused by reading endless romance novels, are left unsatisfied despite fantasies of a chance meeting 10 years ago in her début season. When her 18 year old sister falls in love and is betrothed in her first season, Callie eventually decides she has had enough of being a simple spinster and decides to make a list of things she wants to do, starting with being kissed. Passionately!

Gabriel, Marquess of Ralston is a notorious rake whose reputation is well known. When he meets Lady Calpurnia hiding in the garden at a society ball he engages her in conversation but forgets her as soon as he leaves, little knowing the impact he had on the then 18 year old. Ten years on he is surprised with a half sister he did not know existed, and despite her being the very image of his despised mother he knows he must do all he can to bring her out into society. Knowing he will need some female help with this, his opportunity arrives when that very evening a lady shows up in his bedchamber asking for a kiss.

I really enjoyed this story. In so many books the lady ‘left on the shelf’ is still only 22/23. Having a 28 year old be the heroine, someone well and truly confined to the shelf, made a refreshing change. As an acknowledged spinster Callie has much more freedom than other young ladies and I loved her attitude. I really found myself drawn into the story and when it seemed she might get discovered doing something outrageous I felt my pulse beat faster as if I was there with her, willing her to make it. I was so involved in the story, at one point I was even holding my breath!

I have read a lot of historical romance and this by far rates among my favourites. Other than the girl meets boy part, the plot was totally unique; the idea of the list and the things on it – totally scandalous!

Without a doubt I will be looking out for more books by Sarah Maclean.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sarah Maclean
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)