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on 2 May 2008
-that I'm a sucker for this type of romance; a hero whose been lusting after the married heroine for years. Her husband dies, she goes through a period of mourning and finally -finally!- she's back out into society.

Widower Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate has absolutely no intention of ever marrying again. As far as she is concerned she'd met the love of her life (her husband Edward) and lost him to a sudden illness. But after three years of mourning and the persistent pleas from her beloved sister, she's decided to shed her widows weeds. To go back among the living instead of wallowing in memories.

As soon as Daniel Sutton, Earl Surbrooke, heard that Lady Wingate was out of mourning, he made it his sole mission to get the object of his long time lust into his bed as soon as possible. Not that he wanted to closely examine why this one particular lady was the only one who made his blood boil and feel like a green babbling school boy when in her presence. All would be cured as soon as he had her naked.

After reading the scandalous book, Memoirs of a Mistress, Carolyn is shocked, appalled and more than a bit curious...well maybe more than just curious. Were these things possible? Did a man really do THAT to a woman and a woman THAT to a man? And was it enjoyable? According to her recently married and completely in love sister, yes...yes...yes...and most definitely YES! So when the dashing Earl pursues her and opens up all these emotions and sensations she thought long dead and buried, is she tarnishing the beautiful memories of her husband by thinking about having an affair or is she finally go to grasp onto to some happiness and live again?

I enjoyed this book, but maybe a tiny bit less than it prequel 'Sleepless at Midnight'. Its the second in the Mayhem in Mayfair series. Very good characterizations. The pace was kind of slow though. Not much going on action wise but I didn't really mind because the sexual tension was HOT! Thats always my favorite part of reading romances anyway. And these two protagonists could start a fire under water. Daniel was ....well....All I have to say is that I would like to make some of my own confessions to him!

I also liked that Carolyn's dead husband wasn't some abusive jerk or that he didn't know how to please a woman as one often times finds in historical romance. She loved him deeply but realizes that there is room in her heart for more.

This book sort of reminded me of 'When He Was Wicked' by Julia Quinn (really good btw) and a short story in the anthology set 'My Scandalous Bride'. That one is called 'The Proposition' by Leslie Lafoy (an absolutely fantastic read!).

So I recommend this book along with its prequel. I'm looking forward to the sequels where the loud, brash and fabulously wealthy American Mr. Logan Jenssen pairs up with nose-stuck-up-in-the-air blue blooded Emily. As well as the stunningly beautiful but stuck under her match making mama's (title seeking) thumb, Julianne and her dark and dangerous? Bow Street Runner Mr. Gideon Mayne.
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Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, has been in mourning for too long. Her recently wedded sister, Sarah, has convinced her to at least attend some parties and join the Ladies Literary Society. Not wanting to read the boring tales most other ladies do, they choose "Memoirs of a Mistress". Shocked as she is, Carolyn reads the book - many times. Soon Carolyn finds herself succumbing to the seductions of Daniel Sutton, Earl Surbrooke. She is positive it is only due to her steamy reading of late; however, Carolyn yearns to feel alive again. Her answer is to begin an affair with the handsome rogue.

Daniel has been besotted by Carolyn for over a decade, but she had been wed to Edward, a friend of his. Therefore, Daniel has kept his distance. Now that Carolyn is a widow, he decides to get her out of his system by getting the lovely widow into his bed until such time he grows weary of her. But Daniel is about to learn that falling arse over backwards in love is not something you plan for.

**** Each chapter begins with a sneak peak into the scandalous book Carolyn and her group is reading. Keeping in mind the era this story is set in, I am amazed the book was not more notorious with the gentlemen of the Ton. I would think they would have been trying to figure out who the anonymous lady author is and exactly which gentleman she dallied with. There are more love scenes than normal, but if you are not reading a "romance" novel for the romance then you are choosing the wrong genre to browse. There is danger in the story, though not a lot. Seems someone is killing Daniel's ex-lovers, however, the intrigue does not start as soon in the story as I would have liked. If you want something to put you on the edge of your seat, go elsewhere. This story, in my opinion, is great for light reading, such as while you are on the beach or in the mountains. Pick up a copy and tuck it into whatever suit case you plan to use on your next vacation. Excellent warm weather reading. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 31 March 2008
This book is part of a series, also including 'Sleepless at Midnight', focusing on the four women of the Ladies Literary Society of London. In this story the four ladies are all rather scandalised but titillated by the book they have just read, 'Memoirs of a Mistress', which shows some of the fun that women can have with the right lover. The heroine of this story, Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, is rather wistful about what she's reading as the love of her life, her husband Edward, died three years before. For Carolyn, life is beginning to continue again now that she's over the rawest days after Edward's death, but she knows she can't give her heart again.

Unfortunately for Carolyn, reading the book has rather stirred up her feeling of sensuality and when she meets Edward's friend Daniel Sutton, Lord Surbrooke, she's reminded that she does find him rather attractive. Carolyn soon discovers that Surbrooke is keen to make her his lover; she knows he's just a normal rake with a rather aimless life but his charm and warmth are appealing to a woman who's been widowed for three years. He doesn't have a heart to give away, she has reserved all her love for Edward, what could be the harm in a quick fling?

As the book progresses both Carolyn and Daniel discover that there's more to the other person than initially meets the eye. When women who have previously been Daniel's lovers start getting murdered Daniel begins to realise his feelings for Carolyn might be more than his usual dalliance.

What I particularly liked about this book was the characterisation of Daniel and the way in which he talked with Carolyn and interacted with his footman and other members of his household. He was a far more complex character than initially portrayed at the beginning of the book and much of the enjoyment of reading this story is discovering, alongside Carolyn, what makes him tick. In some ways it's a fairly simple story, focusing almost exclusively on Carolyn and Daniel's relationship, but this is no bad thing as it is a good read. Historical accuracy isn't always great and the protagonists all use modern American word-forms at times, as is so common in American-authored historical romances, but these things aside it was a very good read and with an unexpected twist at the end with the 'baddie'.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008
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Three years after the death of her husband, Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate, is ready to return to Society. But after reading a scandalous memoir with her friends, parties and ballrooms aren't the only things about married life she's starting to miss...

After sharing a stolen kiss at a masquerade, Daniel Sutton, Earl Surbrooke, knows he wants more of Carolyn. He's wanted this woman for ten years, and now he refuses to miss his chance. Even when murder and scandal spread mayhem through the ton.

The Mayhem in Mayfair series continues with Carolyn (sister of Sarah from Sleepless at Midnight), a widow still in love with her husband, and the highly improper Daniel, well-know for his liaisons and refusal to marry. There's little resistance between the pair, once Carolyn gets past her initial scruples, leading to some sizzling scenes, and sweet exchanges of gifts. Despite a little soul-searching creeping in here and there, D'Alessandro has a gift for making things refreshingly angst free.

Sweet, funny and light-hearted, this book may have had few surprises, but it's still a lovely comfort read that's undemanding and thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 16 November 2014
great read
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on 22 January 2008
I picked up Confessions at Midnight (Avon Historical Romance) by Jacquie D'Alessandro, I had not expected it to be much more than a semi-interesting read. However, with every page turn, I became more and more attached to the novel's heroine, and actually found it very difficult to put the book down. Since reading this book, I have highly recommended it to all my girlfriends. It's a beautiful story about life, love and friendship filled with excitement, heartbreak and hope. I'd also recommend reading Tino Georgiou's bestselling novel--The Fates--if you haven't yet!!
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