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Desire [Mass Market Paperback]

Nicole Jordan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 July 2004
Seducing readers with her scorching sensuality and searing romance, bestselling author Nicole Jordan weaves her most tantalizing love story yet. . . .

A legendary lover and spymaster, the darkly sensual Earl of Wycliff eludes matrimony until a brush with death makes him yearn for a son to carry on his name. The moment Lucian spies the alluring Brynn Caldwell on a Cornish beach, he knows he has found the woman he wants for his bride.

Brynn believes the notorious rake’s fascination with her is driven by a centuries-old curse that dooms the women of her family to tempt men–only to lead those they love to their death. Compelled by dire circumstances to marry Lucian, Brynn surrenders her body to his caresses but dares not give him her heart.

Locked in a battle of wills with his bewitching wife, Lucian begins to suspect that Brynn is a traitor. Before long he finds himself lured into a web of danger and betrayal, where the price of winning his bride’s elusive heart may be his own life.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (27 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034547886X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345478863
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.6 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,821,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicole Jordan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous historical romances. She lives with her real-life hero (her husband) in the Rocky Mountains of Utah, where she is at work on her next enthralling tale about the sparks that fly when Regency lovers play the matrimonial mating game.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been reading Jordan's books for over a decade, and I keep coming back despite troubling problems with each book. WHY? Because she creates such strong, intriguing characters. Often, they are infuriating, but I figure she is pushing the right buttons in me to provoke such a response. Even when they are infuriating, I long remember them after I put them down.
This book - the third installment in Jordan's Regency era Notorious series - has another of the arrogant alpha males, Lucian Tremayne, Earl of Wycliff. He is a spy for the English government. He comes upon comes across Brynn Caldwell as she is gets out of the water after swimming. He immediately proposes (o-kay) but Brynn says no, that she - and all the women of her family are curse. The curse is a they lure men to love them to their death - sort of like the Leannan Si of Ireland.
Well, a wee curse is nothing to a master spy, so Lucian does not let this stop his pursuit. He finally convinces Brynn to marry him. This creates troubles as Brynn and her family have been smuggling to make ends meet,and Lucian has been sent their to stop the flow of gold going to France. Despite a rocky start to their marriage bed, Lucian and Brynn share desire, though both keep their emotions locked away.
Where I got a wee ticked was his wanting the child and she saying she would give him a son for her freedom. Women just don't carry a child for 9 months and then turn their back, and this is a little trite to boot. Then he says if she wants a child she will have to pursue the conception? Shakes head? I felt like Jordan changed characters on me.
She is a strong writer that keeps me coming back time and again.
Just one of these days she is going to get it perfect and WOW!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book! 27 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a great reading material for romance fans and one of the better ones by Nicole Jordan. This is a story of Lucien (from Passion and Seduction) and Brynn. He was looking for a bride and she was trying to stay away from love and romance due to a curse in the past. He was deeply attracted to her the first time they met and even knowing about the curse surrounding Brynn that any man she fell in love with will die, he proposed and finally after some strong persuasions, Brynn agreed. The problems starts when Lucien suspect that Brynn might be a spy and traitor while Brynn was trying hard to distance herself from Lucien so as not to fall in love with him...As usual, this book is filled with sizzling romance and hot scenes typical of Nicole Jordan. This is a good addition to add to her collection and a great start for new readers of her work. It is well written with great characters. Its worth a read!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first two books she wrote were very original (I thought). This was also good but the spice that was in the other two is somehow not as strong.
I can imagine it's difficult to write an original Regency Romance (there are thousand out there) but she managed it twice before.
Perhaps it's the way that the heroine seems less than in charge of her own fate that didn't appeal to me. The hero wasn't really in control of his situation either - I like a completely unreal hero (RR's are complete fantasy to me
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Desired to throttle both of them 19 May 2003
By J. Mullally - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Our �hero� is said to be a great master spy-so how come everyone knows what he�s up to?
Except his wife, of course, who is treated like a brood mare for him to make pregnant so he can have a son. He doesn�t really want to be married, but a recent brush with death makes him long for a son. No love or trust is ever really developed in the relationship, especially when he initiates their wedding night by saying she is going to have to go ahead and consummate the relationship sooner or later so she might as well get on with it. When she says no a second time later on in the book he just plows on ahead anyway.
Then she makes the bargain that as soon as a son is born she can leave. Well what woman in their right mind is simply going to dump their baby? He agrees to it and tells her fine, but if she wants the baby she has to initiate all the lovemaking from now on. Whoa�he was the one who wanted the baby. So he makes her jump through hoops to �please him� in every way while he just lies back and occasionally participates. It is about as romantic as watching grass grow. Finally he decides she has betrayed him and is going to kill her.
Her ambivalence in the marriage has been a-she has no idea who he is because he never spends any time with her apart from forcing his conjugal rights. And b-part of a supposed gipsy curse and she decides she loves him despite everything.
The paranormal aspect is thin but seems the only explanation for her putting up with the appalling way he treats her throughout the entire marriage right up to the last 20 pages of the book. Another turkey from an author who thinks that sex scenes equal romance, and can�t avoid the word erotic. The definite is �ending to arouse sexual desire. The only thing these scenes arouse in me is a desire to throttle any author who portrays non-consensual sex as a given which women just have to put up with, and really like after all anyway because no one in their right mind can resist a rake. Revolting
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Passionate intrigue 4 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lucian Tremayne, Earl of Wycliffe and legendary spymaster, has a chance encounter with beautiful and fiery Brynn Caldwell when she is swimming near her home on the Cornish coast. A recent brush with death has convinced Lucian of the need to marry and produce an heir and when he discovers Brynn is an eligible, but impoverished noblewoman, he decides she will make the perfect bride to bear him a son.
Brynn however is a firm believer in a gypsy curse which will mean death to any man she comes to love and so is determined never to wed. Despite her strenuous objections Brynn is forced into marriage with the Earl to save her family from poverty, but as both Brynn and Lucian are equally determined not to fall in love, the marriage is to be purely a business arrangement and love is not part of the bargain!
Soon after their marriage, Lucian begins to suspect his new wife and her brother may be embroiled in a treasonous plot to aid Napoleon. He is tormented by his growing feelings for his wife yet torn by his duty to his country. Brynn's belief in the gypsy curse means that she will not allow herself to care for Lucian, despite the overwhelming attraction she feels towards him. Set against a background of suspicion and treason, the passion Brynn & Lucian feel for each other explodes as intrigue and the search for stolen gold brings the tension between the lovers to a dangerous climax.
Once again Nicole Jordan delivers a passionate and sensual romance in DESIRE, which is the third book in the Notorious series, following THE SEDUCTION and THE PASSION. Set in 1813 Regency London and Cornwall and with the elements of intrigue and danger added to the romance, most readers will enjoy this latest instalment. I thought it lacked some of the character and plot development of Nicole's earlier novels and it would also have been nice to see more development of Brynn and Lucian's relationship outside the bedroom. Lastly, a minor gripe. Unfortunately the setting of the novel never really had a Regency "feel" and in fact it could have been set in any time period. It didn't really come across as a Regency, especially when compared to THE SEDUCTION and books such as those in Jo Beverley's brilliant COMPANY OF ROGUES/THREE GUYS CALLED GEORGE Series (all of which are excellent!).
Still DESIRE was a enjoyable read and will ensure that readers will be eagerly awaiting the fourth book in the series, ECSTASY (due in 2002), which will continue the story of Raven, who first appeared in THE PASSION.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars - Not Bad Yet Not Memorable Either... 16 Nov 2001
By Abbys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have waited for this third segment of Nicole Jordan's Notorious series with high expectations because I've enjoyed both prequels very much. I find myself a bit disappointed on this one, however. Lucian and Brynn's story was a bit simple for me. The plot have some pulling moments but needed more enhancements for full exciting effect. The gypsy curse was interesting in the beginning yet not properly resolved towards the end for me to find it credible enough. I was also not specially taken with both the hero/heroine's characters. They are well liked, yes but not to the extent for me to find them hearty. They're not quite as challenging as Damien and Vanessa in THE SEDUCTION nor were they intriguing as Nicholas and Aurora in THE PASSION. However, the intimacy of Lucian and Brynn is consistent with the prequels. It does have full sensual effects. It's fun, tasty and not lurid in my opinion.
Another niggle about this book is my own personal preferences. See, I LOVE book sequels/trilogy/series. I enjoy keeping track of the characters on my books, especially those I favor. However, I also expect authors to write updates of the previous characters. Even just a tiny bit. It brings back old fun memories and it's heart warming to read some short new infos of how these characters are doing. It is afterall what a sequel or series is expected of, isn't it? In this particular book, it is so unbelievable that Damien Sinclair (who happends to be a very good friend of the Earl of Wycliff) and Nicholas Sabine (who's a cousin of Lucien) didn't have any appearance in this book at all. Just a mention of their names but no appearances whatsoever. I was very disappointed in this matter.
Compared to THE SEDUCTION and THE PASSION, DESIRE unfortunately fell short. It's not what I have expected. However, it is still somewhat an enjoyable read.
The fourth book of the Notorious Series is ECSTACY, Story of Raven, Nicholas Sabine's sister. Coming Fall 2002. I hope Raven's story would be more to my liking and would include UPDATES of the previous characters.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less plot and more sex 1 Nov 2001
By "cynical-romantic" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nicole Jordan does not concentrate on the plot of her novels, but the more intimate scenes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is something the reader should know before purchasing her novels.
"Desire" is the story of the Earl of Wycliff (Lucian) and Miss Caldwell (Brynn). Lucian is a spy, he works to scout out who is the traitor sending British gold to Napoleon. He is a returning character from Ms. Jordan's previous novel, "The Passion", in which we learn that a near death experience have convinced him of the need to have an heir so his entire life will not have been lived "in vain". He's rather arrogant and somewhat obnoxious, and not terribly deep despite the author's best intentions to give him different sides. He is supposedly traumatized by killing his own friend who turned out to be a traitor. It's not terribly convincing, but it isn't detrimental to the story either.
Brynn however does affect the story negatively. She is a beautiful woman who bears a gypsy curse that attracts men to her like flies to honey, but any man she gives her heart to will perish. The magical aspect of it all did not appeal to me, and I wasn't sure if in the end it was ever resolved if the curse had been real or not. Lucian does not believe in the curse, which is how the book takes place. He sees Brynn swimming (nearly naked) in a cove in Cornwall. He knows he must have her, and basically forces her into marriage. She does not want to marry him, because she doesn't want him to have the potential to die because of her. He doesn't believe in the curse, but they end up having a cold first few months of marriage anyway. They finally warm up to each other (which is sort of cute), but Brynn kind of ruins it all when she gets pregnant and doesn't tell him, and when she goes to visit a gypsy to break the curse, but lies to Lucian about where she has been. He, of course, immediately thinks the worst. Then the secondary plot takes over.
Lucian was in Cornwall in the first place because he was attempting to find Lord Caliban, who is the mysterious traitor forcing English lords to commit treason. Sir Grayson, Brynn's eldest brother, is part of the Free Trade system, but she does not believe he could possibly be part of the group sending gold to France. Of course, the truth is not surprising, and Lucian believes because of her previous lies, that she is part of the conspiracy.
"Desire" is a fine romance novel, but, it's nothing spectacular. Ms. Jordan's best scenes take place in the bedroom, or wherever else her characters engage intimately. If a story is not what you're looking for, but sex is, I would highly recommend the novel. If you're looking for a story, I would not completely pass it up, but it is certainly not terribly strong in that department. Her characters are nothing new, and the magical element bothered me, but most importantly, it's readable, and does require excess thought.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DESIRE scorches with top-notch passion 14 Nov 2001
By Desmond Chan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With DESIRE as the third installment of the romance around members of the scandalous HELLFIRE LEAGUE, NICOLE JORDAN weaves a tale of passion between the rake Earl Of Wycliff, Lucian Tremayne and the gypsy enchantress, Brynn Caldwell. It was love at first sight for Lucian when he spied on the luscious beauty at the Cornish beach and his life-threatening job as a British spy has fired his impulse to marry Brynn for her to bear him a son. Ironically Lucian got more than he had bargained for; Brynn was a temptress that gnawed at his passion and soul, and when he craved love from Brynn, she refused his offer because of a visceral atavistic fear that the gypsy curse would stake its claim on Lucian just like it did on her first love.
DESIRE, following the tradition of PASSION and the splendid SEDUCTION triumphs with sensual delights between Brynn and Lucian. The love scenes sizzles and scorches to a pulsating, dizzying beat. Intrigue takes a secondary seat with the subplot of a gold-smuggling contraband with Lucian as the investigator. As with any romance theirs is one overwrought with difficulties. Lucian has to learn to trust his wife and conquer his demons of having killed his betraying friend Giles. Brynn is caught in a dilemma between his smuggling brother, Gray and Lucian.
Ms. Jordan's bold and passionate style keeps DESIRE a smoldering read, but it lacks the poignant tenderness in THE SEDUCTION and propulsive intrigue in THE PASSION. New fans who savour heated historical romance will no doubt be enthralled, but those already mesmerized by her style from her earlier works will find it somehow lacking that spark of surprise. Ms. Jordan is such an engaging storyteller that DESIRE leaves the reader desiring for even more.
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