- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Signet (24 Feb 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451199529
- ISBN-13: 978-0451199522
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.9 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,383,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Selected as a part of Signet's "Lords of Love" promotion, Cullman's delightful tale offers readers a peek into a slightly different area of Regency England. Instead of concentrating most of her story in London among the ton, Cullman sets her story in the tiny village of Little Duckington.
Sullen Lord Quentin Somerville finds himself married to the decidedly plain Jane Wentworth after an attempt to woe her step-sister goes awry. After a disastrous wedding night, he banishes her to his ramshackle estate in the country. Jane, however, thrives in the familiar surroundings and befriends the neglected townfolks, setting out to improve everyone's situation. As Quentin discovers Jane's hidden talents, her true beauty becomes apparent to him, and he finds himself falling in love with his wife.
Heather Cullman proves herself to be a talented storyteller who mesmerizes her readers with her charming descriptions and interesting characters. I look forward to reading future novels from this gifted author.
This is the story of Lord Quentin Somerville, a rake to end all rakes. He has made a living out of debauchery until the fateful day he lays eyes on the Season's reigning beauty Clarissa Edwardes. He is instantly smitten and decides to pursue her. Tired of competing with Clarissa's other titled and more wealthy suitors, Quentin concocts a plan to trap her into marriage by compromising her at a masked ball (Quent is not very nice). Quentin's plan goes without a hitch until he's found (as planned) by members of the ton. To his surprise and utter dismay the passionate woman in his arms was not Clarissa at all but her plain, boring stepsister Jane.
I know that the forced marriage thing has been done a million times but this author somehow manages to bring an interesting spin to this tired plot. The hero is as nasty as they come (think Sebastian Verlaine in Patricia Gaffney's To Have and to Hold) who even goes so far as to rape the heroine on their wedding night. I know this is terrible but the author makes his transformation into an ideal and loving husband believable. By the end of the story I was head over heels for him. On the other hand, Jane is kindnes personified, her sweet but strong personality was overshadowed by the glitz and glamour of London's nobility. Once Quentin gets to see her in her natural setting,in the countryside among peasants and nature, his frozen heart is in great danger of being thawed by Jane's sweet smile.
My only quibble: I thought Jane should have made Quentin grovel and beg and plead a lot more for his evil deeds. Otherwise this book is a great read especially for those who are heartily sick of the dead corpses and evil villains that populate every other romance today. Highly recommended. :)
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