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Ravishing in Red [Kindle Edition]

Madeline Hunter
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first novel in a magnificent new quartet of historical romance

Audrianna Kelmsleigh is unattached, independent-and armed. Her adversary is Lord Sebastian Sommerhays. What they have in common is Audrianna's father, who died in a scandalous conspiracy-a deserved death in Sebastian's eyes. Audrianna vows to clear her father's name, never expecting to fall in love with the man devoted to destroying it...

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 697 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; 1 edition (14 Jan. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030CHFXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,169 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Reputation's Redemption 8 April 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Determined to clear her deceased father's name, Audrianna Kelmsleigh defies all risks to her reputation to answer an obscure advertisement promising information. Unluckily for her she isn't the only one seeking the same source. When a pistol is accidentally fired and she is found alone with Lord Sebastian Summerhays, the night takes an unexpectedly unwelcome turn.

Being found alone with any man is enough to ruin a girl's reputation, but Lord Sebastian led the investigation against her father. When talk fans the gossip into outright scandal, threatening to ruin them both, there's only one option left to them both...

With this story of scandal, a family in disgrace and a marriage of convenience, the opening of Madeline Hunter's RAREST BLOOMS series shares much in common with the first of her last series, The Rules of Seduction. Like many a Hunter heroine, Audrianna is loyal, intelligent and trusting, refusing to believe the worst of the ones she loves, and resentful of her attraction to Sebastian, even as she succumbs to him. But she's no fool, and still manages to see the best in people, even when they might not deserve it.

However, most of this story focuses on Sebastian and the struggles he faces - investigating the disaster, exploring his feelings for Audrianna, the relationship with his brother Morgan and the responsibilities he doesn't want to have to take. A typical Hunter hero he is strong-willed, handsome, brooding and smart enough to keep up with the heroine. He also has a rakish reputation, but there's so much more to him than that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, but it dragged on 12 May 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first in the Rarest Blooms series with Summerhays and Audrianna.

Audrianna lives in Cumberworth in a modest house with three other young women. Neither know each others secrets and are happy to keep things that way. Audrianna 'borrows' her friend, Daphne Joyes' pistol, and goes to meet the 'Domino' who may have answers surrounding her father's death. Not believing any of the rumours surrounding her father's involvement in corrupted gunpowder, she vows to clear his name. But the person she meets is none other than Lord Sebastian Summerhays, the MP who's been accusing her father of the crime. In a panic, she accidentally shoots Summerhays. The innkeeper finds them, and wants to have Audrianna arrested, but Summerhays comes to her defence and says the real culprit got away. Forced to marry after being caught alone together, Audrianna is still adamant her father is innocent. Summerhays agrees to help her find the truth, but he's still certain her father was involved. Over time, they develop feelings for each other, and Summerhays shows jealousy when Audrianna spends time with his disabled brother. But when they find out the truth about her father's involvement, both must put aside their differences if they want to be together.

Overall, the book was good. It did drag on a little, but it didn't put me off reading the next in the series with Hawkeswell and Verity/Lizzie.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 15 Jun. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good book as are most of her others.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely 28 Jan. 2010
By NM Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
What a thoroughly enjoyable book. Good, even by Madeline Hunter standards. The plot is solid, the characters are fully developed.

Audrianna is the daughter of a government official who committed suicide. He was implicated in a scandal resulting in the deaths of soldiers on the battlefield. Sebastian is the brother of a marquess, an MP, and Audrianna's father's accuser. They encounter each other as the result of a newspaper advertisement soliciting a meeting with Audrianna's father. The result is Audrianna and Sebastian being caught in a compromising situation and their eventual marriage. The understanding and love between them grows gradually, hampered by their adversarial history.

Well-written, great attention to detail. I always appreciate an author who can get the titles and addresses of British aristoracy right. A breath of fresh air in a genre crowded with poorly written dreck.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read! 30 Jan. 2010
By K. Reinke - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading many forgettable historical romances over the past few months, it was a true pleasure to pick up Madeline Hunter's latest. She has always been one of my favorite authors, but lately even that usually safe method of selecting investments had not always paid off. How relieved and happy I was to find that this book was a delight!

This first installment of a planned quartet involving "The Rarest Blooms" - a group of women who live together in a country house raising flowers, hiding their pasts and attempting to forge their independent futures- did a good job of introducing a series of interesting and compelling characters. "Ravishing in Red" focused on Audrianna, a not-so-young women seeking to clear her father's name in a war-time scandal. I found her characterization, motivations, thoughts, and dialog particularly believable and sympathetic for a woman of her time. From details regarding her relationships with her mother & sister, to her sometimes awkward yet beautifully poignant confessions to Sebastian, I felt I truly understood and respected her as a character and a Woman. Sebastien is a gentleman and a rake, forced to give up his wild times, in order to look into the war-time scandal for his disabled brother, a Marquess and an influential member of the Commons. The brothers' relationship is a refreshing and pivotal plot point of the story, underscoring Sebastien's character and motivations.

Though I have read this type of story before, Ms. Hunter's characters are fresh, honest, and compellingly mature. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historical romance that's romantic and historical. 26 Jan. 2010
By OLT - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After a few weeks of reading historical romance releases that everybody but me seems to like I finally found a winner. I buy without reservation any book written by Madeline Hunter. For me, even the ones others say are bad, are good. She puts me back into the historical period her characters are living in, whether it be Victorian, Regency or medieval, and gives me a good romance at the same time. I don't skim or skip pages but rather savor the whole reading experience and don't want the book to end. In contrast to the characters found in many other romances, her characters speak and behave much more closely to the way I imagine people would at that particular time. If we do find a heroine doing something inconsistent with what is expected it is not an annoying, cutesy, immature action, but rather something circumstances have forced her to do in spite of customs of the times. Because of this, the dialogue in a Hunter book is not full of contemporary American speech patterns and vocabulary and may sometimes sound a bit stilted to the fans of certain other historical romance authors whose characters speak and act in a way that makes me feel as if modern-day people had time-traveled back in history. So, this review is not a summary of the plot. That can be found here online or on the back of the book. Suffice it to say that this is a great Regency romance with an interesting plotline and a great cast of characters in addition to our heroine and hero. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series which will develop the love story of two of the secondary characters we meet in this one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valiant Effort 25 May 2010
By Bookcat - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The rating is really closer to a 3.5. This was my first Madeline Hunter novel, and it encouraged me to try her other books. Audrianna inadvertently meets Lord Sebastian at an inn where she had planned instead to meet a mysterious figure, the Domino, the man she hopes will help clear her late father's name. Accused of conspiracy in a plot to profit from sales of faulty gunpowder to the British army, her father committed suicide after Lord Sebastian's investigation implicated him. The meeting at the inn goes awry when the Domino escapes after seizing Audrianna's weapon and firing at Sebastian, drawing a crowd and exposing them to public scrutiny. Caught in an compromising position, Audrianna is ruined. The news of her disgrace quickly travels to London, where, no surprise, she must marry Lord Sebastian to save her reputation. But she is determined to continue her quest to exonerate her beloved father.

The depth of research and attention to detail are impressive, the plot is off the beaten track, and the progression of Sebastian and Audrianna's relationship is credible, meaningful, and emotionally satisfying. But the two story lines, the gunpowder investigation and the couple's deepening relationship, are at odds with each other. The author effectively describes the truly horrendous effects of the gunpowder on the soldiers in battle and the sufferings of the survivors. Then we jump to a romantic love scene??? The juxtaposition is jarring. And Audrianna's attitude toward Sebastian: --"You hounded my father into an early grave, oh, Baby, you are so hot!"--was too much for me. In the hands of Carla Kelly, the late Edith Layton, or Mary Balogh, this novel might have soared. But for me, the two elements of the story never gelled. Also, the continuing investigation of the gunpowder sale meandered and plodded along without building suspense or intensity.

Don't get me wrong. Ms. Hunter is clearly a writer of merit, far above the many semi-literate wannabes currently polluting the historical romance environment. I applaud the realism, the grit, the emotion, the honest communication among the principal characters--it's so rarely found in these novels. I'm thrilled that the author didn't dumb this down to mitigate the consequences of anyone's actions. This book is an absorbing read. But I suspect that Madeline Hunter has written better books, and I certainly plan to start reading them.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read from Madeline Hunter 8 Feb. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Let's hear it for a well-written romance!

Madeline Hunter is a rarity in mass market romances: she writes great characters, interesting story arcs and realistic relationships. This isn't one of those contemporary romances disguised as a Regency; Hunter's characters actions and words reflect the sounds and customs of the early 1800s.

OK, now let's talk about the plot. I found the story to be a bit reminicient of other recent Hunter novels, where the conflict between the hero and heroine have to do with a family scandal and the heroine's loss of reputation and status at the hands of the hero or his family. But I honestly didn't mind that, and quite enjoyed the secondary relationships (Audrianna and her brother-in-law, Audrianna and her "Rarest Blooms" friends, Sebastian and his brother, etc.) that I'm guessing will serve as a basis for subsequent books.

While the relationships and character development were the strengths of this book, the mystery that creates the conflict between Audrianna and Sebastian was a bit uneven. The discovery of the "Domino" character, which was set up to be a major plot development, was anticlimatic and the final resolution of the mystery was rushed into the last 30 or so pages. Was that enough to spoil my enjoyment of this book? Not at all. Hunter's prose was enough to maintain my interest and get me invested in Audrianna and Sebastian's relationship.

I'm looking forward to the next installment, which is set for release in the next few weeks.
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