Sensual heat melts the ice in the new Disgraced Lords novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans, as a marriage of convenience leads to delightful pleasure—and mortal danger.
Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
A whisper of desire was a novel full of surprises. Contrary to the novel I was reading A curse of ash and iron which is taking me more than four days to read, A whisper of desire was so well written and its characters so engaging that I found myself swimming through its pages.
While the story seems like one of those we have read before and it does have some common places characteristics of romance novels, it does not lack one thing: communication. I hate it when characters keep things to themselves and Marisa was amazing, whenever she was troubled by something, she would go to someone to talk about it and solve it. Now that’s my kind of girl. Due to that she was a lot less dull and more engaging as a character, unlike Maitland who was all mystery and secrets. While he wasn’t an idiot, he clearly suffers from the monster syndrome: he thinks he is no good enough, he is afraid of being like his father, he has a troubled past. But let’s face it, women love to see men changing for them, to see a cold sexy guy becoming so enamored that he will do anything for her. In my case, while I am not a fan of that type of hero (I prefer the son of a bitch with a sense of humour and cocky), it was Marisa who kept the story interesting. It is not the guy who seeks the woman, it’s the opposite. Marisa enjoys sex. And she’ll be damned if she spend her marriage alone in bed, so that means seeking your husband to naughty things which causes some hilarious scenes between the couple.
Another different thing is that the marriage is based on trust and friendship. There is a little bit of lust but it is not a bitter marriage. The two characters are mature and wise enough about society to understand that friendship and trust (and honesty) is key to a good marriage and their relation is much more enjoyable giving the fact that they actually care for each other at least enough to be an enjoyable couple. There are a couple of misunderstandings but they’re easily solved thanks to Marisa strong personality.
Evans was also kind enough to portray some of the dark side of brothels and how homosexuality was mostly considered a perversion. It’s not just a bubbly romance, while its historical facts are mostly mixed with the plot, it is very interesting to see more about the era its portraying.
I am just sad that it wasn’t amazing or groundbreaking to give it my first 5 star of 2015, but I am very happy to find that Brownen Evans will remain in my bookshelf for being such a good writer. She has a kind of Julia Quinn mixed with Kate Pearce vibe on her novel, her female character is strong and happy while the sex scenes are very detailed and send the right emotion. I approve, it’s good stuff. Keep an eye close to her writings, it is definitely worth it.
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