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Not Quite a Gentleman (Avon Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 9 Jan 2006


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Nathan Oliver gripped the worn leather cache of stolen jewels to his chest and leaned back against the rough bark of the towering elm to catch his breath. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 29 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
D'Alessandro gets this romance right! 10 Oct. 2005
By avines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
being a romance reader for a number of years, i have to admit i've never read a novel by jacquie d'alessandro until now. now that i have, i wonder what took me so long to find such a gifted author.

NOT QUITE A GENTLEMAN is one of those romance novels that sneaks up on you and before you know it, you're emersed in a story of passion and intimacy. why does it sneak up on you? because the premise is overused and more times than not, means witnessing a heroine's petty attempts at exacting revenge against the hero who used her. not so the case in this instance.

lady victoria wexhall is a young woman on a mission. three years prior to the beginning of the story, she shared a passionate and mind-blowing kiss with dr. nathan oliver. she anticipated he would court her after the interlude but he instead disappeared from her life and left her embittered. now her father has sent her to dr. oliver's estate in cornwall so that she can contemplate her future plans, which includes two offers for marriage. she sees this as the perfect opportunity to get her revenge and with the aid of the scandalous book "A Lady's Guide to Personal Happiness and Intimate Fulfillment" has devised a plan to kiss and leave dr. oliver just as he left her three years ago.

dr. nathan oliver is a retired spy who is now a physician living in a small cottage with a menagerie of farm animals. his reputation was ruined as a result of a botched plan to steal jewels for the crown. he is thought to have betrayed the mission, which resulted in his brother and best friend being shot. while both of them lived, the hurt at their lack of faith in him and his guilt over his part in their injury forced him to leave his family for three years until he is summoned back to the family estate by victoria's father who says he has a note hidden in victoria's luggage that will help him to clear his name.

initially i thought this would be a story full of misunderstandings because nathan is an ex-spy and victoria is a somewhat jilted woman who i thought would harbor nothing but ill-will and suspicion towards nathan, only enhanced by his secretive behavior. imagine my surprise and relief as d'alessandro skipped over those trite plot devices and instead had nathan be honest with victoria from the very beginning. also, victoria could have been a bitter, petty heroine. instead she turned out to be anything but.

d'alessandro did an amazing job of creating two characters who were both intelligent, passionate, and honest with their feelings with each other while also creating the kind of sexual tension that left me breathless. as victoria and nathan embark on trying to locate the stolen jewels, the reader is able to witness them fall in love as they spend time together learning about each other and finding out all of the things they have in common, despite the fact that she's a london chit and he's a country doctor.

this is a beautiful love story. nathan is sensual, loving, and honest with his feelings about victoria, even while he was afraid of the depth of those emotions. victoria, despite her plan for revenge (which was discarded pretty early in the story), is the perfect match for nathan in that she is also intelligent, courageous, sensual, and honest with her needs and desires. what a refreshing change when so many authors think an innocent heroine means she must also be stupid and afraid of her sexual needs.

the intimate scenes weren't graphic. in fact, while they were VERY passionate, there was more description of the emotions going on during those moments than there was of what the hero and heroine were actually doing (although the author gives us that, too). d'alessandro does a phenomenal job of depicting the passion and yearning the hero and heroine feel for each other and there is romantic gesture at the very end that had me shaking my head at the beauty of it. let me just say that nathan is a memorable hero. there are a number of romantic moments throughout the book that had me falling in love with nathan, too!

as for the plot about the jewels, it's little more than a plot device to get the hero and heroine together for long periods of time throughout the book, so if you're looking for a marsha canham type of adventure, this ain't that kind of story. it centers almost solely around nathan and victoria's interactions with each other, which allows the reader to view intimately the characterization and chemistry between the hero and heroine.

ultimately, it's like this: this is a historical where the hero and heroine are unafraid of intimacy and vulnerability, the uncontrollable yearning for intimacy is felt equally on both ends, the story itself focuses more on the growth of their relationship, and the intimate scenes are strong on emotional detail and lighter on graphical detail, and it's all done VERY WELL.

if you like those things, you'll love this story. i HIGHLY recommend it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Ms. D'Allessandro Still Reigns Supreme 8 Sept. 2005
By Patricia Kersten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lady Victoria Wexhall is very vexed with her father. He is send her to the wilds of Cornwall just when the "Season" is about to start, and to bring her vexation to the boiling point, he has also given her no reason. She dreams of the soirees, and her two ardent suitors that she will be missing. Lady Victoria has no idea what her father expects her to do in the backwater of Cornwall, other than she is to stay at Creston Manor. As long as she is being sent on this arduous journey, she does have a plan in mind - a plan of revenge. Dr. Nathan Oliver, who's father owns the man, had thoroughly kissed her while visitng London three years before. It was a devastatingly wonderful first kiss and yet he abruptly left town with no explanation. He shall pay! She has been reading the scandalous book " A Ladies Guide to the Pursuit of Personal Happiness and Intimate Fulfillment." She shall make Nathan beg for her in every way and then leave him. As so often happens, the best laid plans oft' times go awry.

I have considered Ms. D'Allessandro to be one of the top five authors writing historical romances today since her debut novel RED ROSES MEAN LOVE was published. This novel is as outstanding as her other novels. She breathes such life into all of her characters that immediately draws the reader into their world. She can create an erotic scene with the barest touch of a hand. Her hero and hroine are always honest and intelligent. Her touches of humore are perfectly placed and always make me laugh. The passion between Victoria and Nathan sizzles and delights. HydePark7@aol.com
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful! Excellent!! Gripping!!! (catch my drift?) 24 Sept. 2005
By D. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not Quite A Gentleman wonderful spy romance novel. This book is sharp and fast-moving. The story grabbed me from the start, saucy characters, and great plot twists. It is a fun, escape from reality read. This is a story of unrequited love and passion that will keep you glued to it till end. The plot moved along at a great pace. Both characters felt "real" and made me believe they were in love with one another deeply. Both had great senses of humor too, which is always a plus. This book had everything you need to create a good romance: a dashing hero, a beautiful heroine and, most of all...PASSION! This book is sharp and fast-moving. Filled with Lovable characters, exciting and not too heavy action-mystery twists. I agree that Jacquie D'Alessandro excellent job turning a tired jilted-girl-seeking-revenge-on-boy plot into a fresh story. The relationship between the leads is endearing. The secondary characters are enjoyable as well. Watching Nathan's father and Victoria's aunt fall in love as well was great. Jacquie D'Alessandro has found a perfect match for the notorious Dr. Nathan with feisty Lady Victoria. They are well matched in temperament, intelligence and in their loyalty to their families. It was an interesting. There is enough conflict to make the story line interesting and not so much that your left wondering why they ever got together.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Not quite perfect. 17 Sept. 2005
By Viv - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first Jacquie D'Alessandro book and I enjoyed it. I thought she did an excellent job turning a tired jilted-girl-seeking-revenge-on-boy plot into a fresh story. Dr. Nathan is a hunky hero that clearly loves Victoria from the start. "Not Quite A Gentleman" is wrought with sexual tension between the main characters. The mystery was light and didn't bog down the romance. Who reads Romance for the mystery? The love scenes are poignant but infrequent.

The reason I didn't give it 5-stars is the first half dragged a bit for me. I found myself thinking, "Okay, now get on with it!". Otherwise, I recommend this book as an enjoyable read and I anxiously await Colin's story.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Nice Read! 8 Dec. 2005
By Kristi Ahlers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Victoria Wexhall suffered once at the hands of Nathan Oliver and she plans never to suffer him again. In any way shape or form. She is planning on attending the little season and selecting a husband from her small group of suitors, or that's what her plan had been until her father sends for her to attend him in Cornwall. He has plans for his daughter to marry Nathan. Well, not if she can help it! She'll turn things to her advantage. He had her once but he let her go and her plan...to let him see just what he lost. She's going to drive him wild and than walk away from him.

Nathan Oliver is more than he appears. He is sworn to protect the Crown and when a plot is exposed he is sent to investigate the intrigue. He thinks the vixen Victoria is some way involved but when her sensual allure tangles with his passion all bets are off. Will Nathan be able to see to his duty or will he finally succumb to Victoria despite her secrets?

Ms. D'Alessandro is a clever storyteller. Her reads always offer larger than life characters with just the right amount of tension to keep the reader firmly engaged. Although there were some area's where the plot slowed a bit, it was not enough to completely derail the read. Victoria and Nathan were engaging characters and their romance was a pleasure to read.
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