Naked King, The Mass Market Paperback – 7 Jul 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Spinster" Lady Anne Marston. She had never met anyone like Stephen and despite her embarrassment and his thorough destruction of her bonnet, Anne was carried away by his charms, as was he by her red-haired beauty. When a stumble, tumble, and inappropriate outdoor outcome in front of Crane House is observed and reported to Anne's Cousin Clorinda by the town's leading gossip, Lady Dunlee, Stephen feels the only proper way to quell their dismay and sputtering and to save Anne's reputation, is to announce he and Lady Anne are betrothed. This comes as a shock, not only to her younger sister and twin brothers, but to all who know Stephen's reputation with the ladies. Afraid the truth may mar her sister, Lady Evangeline's society debut, Anne goes along with the ruse but step by step, sees the caring and kindness Stephen possesses as he helps her come out of her shell and into the limelight of London's social circle, something she had never experienced due to family obligations at her marriageable age. Throughout the past ten years, a dark cloud has hung over Lady Anne's head in the form of the vile Lord Brentwood. Horrible memories haunt her and as much as she believes she might feel for Stephen, she is unable to commit fully because of feelings of shame and inadequacy. Fearing Stephen will be repulsed if he learns the truth, Anne will not share the chilling details of the encounter at Gedding's House Party until Lord Brentwood approaches her and threatens to tell Stephen and ruin the lives of Anne and her family. Stephen has an inkling that Lord Brentwood is up to something foul and concocts a plan to thwart it and protect Anne, who, Stephen discovers, he loves more than he ever thought possible. Anne finally summons all of her courage and relays the sickening details of her "History" with Lord Brentwood and finds Stephen's feelings for her have not changed. The following morning, angry over being uncovered as the crass, lying slime he is, Lord Brentwood has Anne kidnapped. Her young Brothers witness the abduction and tell Stephen who sets out to rescue her.
Will Stephen figure out where Brentwood is holding Anne captive?
Will Stephen arrive in time to thwart Brentwood's nasty plan?
Will Stephen give up his "Crown" as "The King of Hearts?
If you enjoy a tale of romance with a lot of "Sizzle", this book is for you!
It was for me!! Nancy Narma
Historical Romance - June 7th, 2011
4 ½ Stars
The Naked King is the story of Stephen Parker-Roth known to the ton as the King of Hearts. After an evening of drinking he finds himself in a difficult position when he meets Lady Anne Marston and is forced to create a 'pretend' engagement to the lady after he is seen kissing her by one of London's most well known gossips. But as he spends more time with the lovely and tempting Lady Anne he is forced to admit there are far worse fates than spending his life with the tempting and alluring red-headed beauty.
As for Lady Anne, she is still in shock. She never imaged a simple bit of conversation with the charming rogue would turn into an engagement! Lady Anne has given up all hopes of marriage after an unfortunate mistake in her past but as she spend more time in this fake engagement she doesn't know how she will be able to keep from losing her own heart to the man. Especially when her past comes back to haunt her and stop her from finding any kind of future happiness.
Sally MacKenzie does a fantastic job of creating a fun story that is both appealing and exciting to read. The two main characters have great chemistry and are very charming. I liked learning more about them as their story develops and became more compelling. These are great characters that you can completely fall for. I really wanted them to find their own happy ending.
The Naked King is a wonderful book with an enjoyable cast that are both loveable and interesting to read.
Reviewed by Mary from Bookaholics Book Club
The Naked King tells of an ugly duckling who's transformed into a beautiful swan because of the hero's love. Lady Anne Marston is an understated, badly dressed spinster who knows she'll never marry. She downplays her looks and tries to not bring attention to herself because at seventeen she was raped during a ball in the gardens by a callous gentleman. From that incident, Anne has been left scarred and believes she is unworthy of marriage. London society has been unkind and knows Anne as "Crazy Crane's daughter". But even with the snide teasing and Anne's past, she keeps her chin up does her best by her younger siblings.
Anne's life is about to become topsy-turvy because one morning as she's walking her dog, she finds a hung over Stephen Parker-Roth lying in a puddle. Stephen's so-called rakish reputation has given him the nickname, King of Hearts. It's assumed this nickname mean his prowess in the bedroom and breaking young ladies' hearts. Stephen swears it's because of his skill at winning at cards. He's adamant about this and is not this loose Lothario the public believes him to be. When he and Anne meet, he's embarrassed, but puts on some airs because of the way she turns her nose down at him. Then they're bantering back and forth, with a few subtle insults, mainly from Anne. Far too soon Stephen has become smitten with the prickly Anne. He takes it upon himself to become her protector (as in more of a bodyguard type role and not a sexual one at first) and a friend. Anne is less than pleased about this since she's attracted to Stephen. But then Stephen proudly admits that Anne is his fiancée and she's put in even more of a bind. She'll go along with this fake engagement, as she thinks it to be, not realizing that Stephen wants their engagement to be one in truth.
Stephen wants Anne to shine and has no qualms about buying her flattering dresses to show off her body and beauty she hides, as well as standing by her and her family as they attend balls and parties. Stephen can barely keep his hands to himself where Anne is concerned and ever so slowly, Stephen breaks through Anne's defenses where she allows him certain liberties. But then Anne's past comes back to haunt her and she may have no choice but to hand herself over to another man who begins blackmailing her to get what he wants. Stephen just has to figure out what Anne is hiding so he can be her knight in shining armor.
The Naked King gave me the warm fuzzies. I had a crush on Stephen from the very first page and I loved how he can see Anne for all her worth and sticks to her like glue because he's fallen hard for her. Anne is a stoic heroine, but very much a martyr because she's ruled by remaining proper and can't misstep because she feels if she does one wrong move, everyone will look at her with disdain. Stephen wants her to loosen up and ignore her critics. These two have great chemistry and share awesome dialogue. Stephen's thoughts for Anne the majority of the time are very naughty.
There is a lot of head hopping between Stephen and Anne and many of the characters are cartoonish in nature, including the blackmailing villain. But none of these things ruined my enjoyment while I read. Sally is the queen at writing cute and adorable, and The Naked King is the perfect example of this.
If you're looking for a book that will make you laugh yourself silly, do read The Naked King, as well as the past 6 books in this series that have given me hours of enjoyment.
Being 30-years old with a younger sister and brother both married, Stephan is desirous of a wife. He admires Anne's gumption and forthrightness, which are obvious qualities from their first meeting. So, when a cat crosses the path of Anne's dog, who trips Stephen and in turn falls on top of Anne, he has no choice but to marry the girl (and buy Anne and her sister new wardrobes).
I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Pearl Hewitt, who did an outstanding job. Pearl provided distinct and consistent voices for all characters, young and old. She has a spunk and sassiness in her readings that make listening very enjoyable. Plus, she enunciates with British sophistication with the best of them. Most excellent!
The characters are for the most part charmingly nice people and at the same time totally disfunctional ecsentrics. In a love story I find the combination to be unsettling at the very least.
I disliked that the herionine was RAPED and that it was never brought to light and until well into this story. It is hinted at more than once thoroughout the story and makes for an uncomfortable side plot. The only good thing is in the end he is given his just desserts, quite finally.
I like it, for the most part, and therefore I would recommend it. Just be aware it is not really like the other Naked ones of the Series.