What Isabella Desires (Avon Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 31 Jul 2007
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About the Author
Anne Mallory is a lifelong romance reader who soldher first novel to Avon Books after becoming a finalistin RWA’s Golden Heart contest. In Total Surrender isher eleventh book. A native Michigander, Anne currentlylives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Wealthy, handsome and brooding, Marcus not only serves in the House, but has a network of men who serve to protect and remove those who would cause harm. Lately, his network has been breached and someone is killing off those close to him. As Lady Isabella begins her campaign to bring forth her wild side, expecting more from him than friendship, Marcus is about to break his one simple rule of not falling in love. Unfortunately, not only must he guard Bella from his enemies, but her heart from discovering his dark family secret.
*** I am becoming a huge fan of Ms. Mallory who has a remarkable talent of creating memorable and likeable characters, not only those who are pre-destined for one another but are immensely appealing to the reader.
It was amusing the way the author let the very prim and proper widow Lady Bella break out of her self imposed proper little world to try to entice the man she'd always loved. Having run out of patience when Marcus never gave her any encouragement, Bella had initially settled and had a good but not passionate marriage. She was determined to change her life and sedate looks with daring clothes and by attending some of the more risqué entertainments to make her good `friend' Marcus sit up and take notice!
Marcus definitely took notice and didn't like it one bit that Bella was attracting the attention of persons he considered opponents as well as enemies. With an underlying element of danger, Marcus convinced himself he was `protecting' Bella from her own foolishness. He'd never been immune to her charms but held a dark family secret that he knew from Bella's own personal history, would cause her heartache and pain should he encourage their closeness. The author did well with keeping the intrigue and danger at the forefront as Marcus succumbed to the desires of the one woman he'd tried to keep from being hurt.
Ms. Mallory kept the intrigue, fast-paced action and sensual seduction going strong throughout the story striking a perfect balance of danger, titillating humor, passion, along with a heartwarming ending. Fabulous entertainment is in store for Regency fans!
Marilyn Rondeau, RIO - Reviewers International Organization for [...]
To make Marcus see her as more than a friend, Isabella lowers her neckline and begins to attend the ton's scandalous after season parties. Isabella wants to find herself in Marcus' bed and Marcus' heart. For Marcus, all of him, is Isabella's heart's desire.
I adore stories of unrequited love. I adore Anne Mallory's What Isabella Desires. Isabella is a heroine strong enough, determined enough and brave enough to fight for what her heart desires.
What Isabella Desires is sensual, heart wrenching and ever so romantic.
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
Marcus Stewart, Lord Roth, doesn't feel worthy of love for no particular reason that I can see. This doesn't make sense as Marcus seems to have it all with his dark hair, whiskey eyes, lush lips... well, you get the point. He has a wonderful set of friends and a woman who would do anything for him. He also happens to be a top notch something-or-other for the Foreign Office.
Lady Willoughby was married to a nice man who is now conveniently deceased, but Marcus has always had her heart. Isabella hides this so well that she is more of a sister to him than anything else and she seems to divide her time between watching Marcus in crowded ballrooms and gardening. Isabella decides she wants to be a little more daring, so she starts wearing shocking dresses that show too much cleavage. Suddenly, the brotherly feelings Marcus has for Isabella disappear because he likes the way she now looks in her new low-cut red ball gowns. He just has to kiss her and soon decides that this is a good time to have an affair with her. Other than trying to solve the mystery of some unknown murdered agents, what else has he got to do?
Soon Isabella and Marcus are exchanging longing glances in public which somehow makes Isabella a target for the bad guy. This gives Marcus an excuse to whisk her away to his country home for her protection and, of course, a little seduction. I will give Mallory some credit for the interesting use of a piano as a seduction tool, but all I could think about during that love scene was that Isabella will have a lot of back pain the next day. For some reason, the thought of consummating a relationship on piano keys doesn't appeal to me in the least.
Eventually Marcus is able to solve the vague mystery that I couldn't even remember by the time I got to the final chapter. Perhaps my problem is that I didn't care to. Everything about What Isabella Desires was so vague and overall "blah" that it took quite a bit of willpower on my part not to stop reading by the third chapter. The chemistry between Isabella and Marcus was non-existent and the fact that our hero has the stereotypical brooding issues for no good reason made me really want to give up reading altogether.
For those who like mundane and, dare I say, inane storylines with no passion or intrigue, you are welcome to this one. I, for one, will take a pass next time I see an Anne Mallory title.