For many years Lady Diana Fanshawe has been infatuated with the Marquis of Blakeney. No one has ever been as handsome as Blake and she fully intends to marry the man. But while Diana is one of the guests at Mandeville, she meets Sebastian Iverley. The bespectacled scarecrow's interests tend toward the intellectual, so it is no wonder they meet in the library. Diana soon finds herself making a wager with Blake that she could get Sebastian to kiss her. As Diana spends more and more time with the awkward Sebastian, she finds herself enchanted. When the kiss occurs, the young widow realizes how much she actually enjoys his presence.
All his life, Sebastian had been told by his uncle that women were poison and that treachery was part of their nature. But Diana turns his head as no other ever has. Shortly after he kisses Diana he learns of the wager. Before he can do anything rash, Sebastian is called away to his uncle's deathbed in Northumberland. He returns as a viscount. His rage toward Diana never dims. With the help of his peer friends, Tarquin and Cain, Sebastian has a complete makeover. He would make Diana care for him and once she wants him as he had once desired her, he would reject her and teach her the meaning of humiliation.
**** FOUR STARS! Though this plot has been done before, I seldom recall reading the lady as the character placing the wager and the gentleman as the innocent. I must say that it gives the story a bit of zest this way. The main characters are well developed with interesting backgrounds. Their friends, as secondary characters, are equally engaging and manage to add their own bit of flavoring to the ongoing plot line. Filled with irony, romance, and humor, readers will find time zip by as they enjoy this gem. Perfect for some cozy reading near the fireplace on a cold evening. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
on 12 September 2015
This is Sebastian's story - the intellectual, vague, scruffy and disparaging of women Sebastian. In a quirky twist he gets a makeover from his marvellously well-dressed mates and sets out to pursue the beautiful, unattainable Diana who desperately wants to marry someone else and has always somewhat despised Sebastian. I rather liked the way Diana was gradually won over and how Sebastian adjusted his misanthropic outlook and they reached a satisfactory HEA.
on 27 July 2011
This is the second book in the Burgundy Club series.
Lady Diana Fanshawe, a widow, has longed for the handsome, golden haired Lord Blakeney for many years, and hopes he will one day ask her to marry him. But then she meets his cousin, Mr Sebastian Iverley, who is in direct constrast of Blakeney. With ill fitting country style clothes, glasses, a booklover and no interest in women, Diana is puzzled by him. What Diana doesn't know, is Sebastian and Blakeney don't get along, as Blakeney was often cruel to Sebastian as a child for his 'odd' ways. Blakeney makes a bet with Diana to make Sebastian kiss her. She agrees, even though she has no need of the money, so she agrees to give it to charity if she wins. Throughout their interactions, Sebastian finds himself falling in love with Diana, and after sharing a kiss, wants to marry her. But before he asks, he overhears Blakeney discussing his bet with Diana, and immediately feels a fool. He leaves and returns to his own home after hearing of his uncle's ill health. When his uncle dies, he inherits the title and becomes Viscount Iverley. He starts wearing better fitted clothes and vows to return to Diana, make her fall in love with him and cast her aside. In the time he's absent, Diana worries he left because he found out about the bet. She is amazed when she Sebastian returns to find him with title and with a changed appearance. Ladies begin to show an interest, and Diana is upset when Sebastian seems to ignore her. But it is all part of Sebastian's tactics to get her attention. He even stages a robbery, acting the hero when the highwayman threatens to shoot. This makes Diana realise his importance to her and makes herself available to him. But when they sleep together, Diana is shocked at his coldness to her afterwards, and then he informs her he knows of the bet, calling them even. He disappears, leaving Diana both heartbroken and wanting revenge herself. She believes what he did was worse than stealing a kiss. Her sister and Sebastian's relatives (not Blakeney) learn of Sebastian's behaviour and offer their support. She tells her sister she will get back at Sebastian, but deep down, she's already in love with him. After accepting a marriage proposal from Blakeney, she buys an ancient book she knows Sebastian has long wanted. When she meets Sebastian, she flaunts the book in front of him and says she will give it as a gift to her husband. He wonders if she wants him to propose, and is considering it now he regrets his actions. She announces she's marrying Blakeney, and his hatred returns. But she later discovers she's pregnant with Sebastian's baby and knowing she cannot marry Blakeney, finds Sebastian and tells him they must marry unless he wants a bastard child. When they grow closer, Sebastian tells her everything about his past and why he'd initially been against women.
Overall, the book was amazing. I absolutely loved Sebastian Iverley throughout, even with his odd clothes and glasses. I've not read any other books by this author, but I know I will. I hope we find out more about them in the third book in the series, which is due out soon.
on 23 July 2014
**Background and Some Slight Spoilers****
Diana Fanshawe is a beautiful young, wealthy, widow who has a hankering for the Marquis of Blakeney, long time neighbor and rake of the first order. She is at a house party at Blakeney's when she first meets Sebastian Iverley, cousin to Blakeney and as different from Blakeney as day is to night. Sebastian and Blakeney have a past that goes back to their young years when Sebastian would visit Blakeney and his sisters and they would make fun of the skinny, bespectacled Sebastian - in fact their nickname for Sebastian was Owlverley and Blakeney still calls him by that name behind his back.
Blakeney is a very handsome titled young man and women want him - a lot of women. Sebastian is dowdy, wears very ill fitted clothing and cares nothing for society - not even the company of women. His primary interest is in obtaining very rare books whereas Blakeney's main interests appear to be all that is frivolous and irresponsible.
Blakeney does want the lovely and wealthy Diana, however, so that he won't have to rely on his father for money. Sebastian has never been around females very much and hasn't had any real interest in women to this point. He is that most rare of men in his class - yes, he is a virgin. But, he finds himself very unexpectedly susceptible to the lovely Diana and her charms. In fact he is so taken with her, he hardly knows what to do with himself.
Diana, in good fun, makes the mistake of participating in a wager that she will be able to get Sebastian to kiss her - this wager being between herself, Blakeney and a couple of other guests. Uh oh! Diana wins the wager but Sebastian and the kiss soon have Diana thinking long and hard about Sebastian in ways she would not have considered. Sebastian, for his part, immediately makes plans to ask Diana to marry him based on the one kiss - then the unthinkable happens. Sebastian overhears the group talking about the wager and the fact that Diana won. He is one angry young man.
Revenge is soon in the offing and let me tell you, Sebastian is smart, brilliant, cunning and he has friends who tutor him in how to "transform" himself from the dowdy person he was into an individual who is "top of the trees" in style and conversation. All this coincidental to his uncle passing away and leaving him with the title of viscount and a fortune in a coal mining enterprise. Diana will not know what hit her when Sebastian is through with her.
I loved this book. Diana is a very sweet lady, not afraid to put herself out there and Sebastian is a sexy, virginal male. I so wish more stories could be written with such sweet and interesting Main Guys and Main Gals. I have already read this book twice. It is a keeper.
on 27 September 2012
this is my last book by ms neville i made the mistake after reading confessions of an arranged marriage to give her a second chance with this one and boy was i let down again!!!!!SPOILER ..............SHE WRITES HER MALES AS WEAKLINGS AND HER FEMALES AS MS KNOW IT ALLS WE HAD THE ADDED UNFORTUNATE FACT THAT HE WAS AN ADULT VIRGIN WITH A RETARDED UNDERSTANDING OF SEX AND BASICALLY EVERYTHING MALE!!!MAJOR MOOD KILLER!!!!AND SHE JUST ABOUT ANYONE WOULD DO CAUSE SHE WANTED SEX AND BABIES!! SO PICKING THIS UP FOR A ROMANCE IS A NO NO.ALSO BOTH BOOKS HAVE A LOT OF BLAH BLAH BLAH BASICALLY OF NOTHING AND VERY LITTLE H/H COMING TOGETHER BOTH BOOKS MAKE YOU FEEL THAT THESE MALES FEEL NOTHING,THEN YOU ARE SUDDENLY TOLD IN THE END THEY LOVE EACH OTHER REALLY WHEN DID THAT COME ABOUT AND THAT'S IF YOU CAN GET OVER THE ENDLESS PRATTLE OF USELESS SECONDARY CHARACTERS WHICH TAKE UP AT LEAST 80% OF THE BOOK !!!!THERE IS ONE SCENE AND I HATE TO HAVE TO SAY THIS ,WHERE HE ''SMELLS''HER IF YOU GET MY DRIFT ???IT IS SO BADLY WRITTEN THAT IT IS ALMOST AS IF A DOG HAS STUCK HIS SNOUT SOMEWHERE VERY POOR WRITING THE AUTHOR ELOISA JAMES STATES ON THE COVER 'SIZZLING' PLEASE CAN ANYONE QUOTE JUST ONE SIZZLING SCENE FROM THIS BOOK ???.IT WAS SO BLAND AND BORING AND EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FINISH WHICH I DID ,BUT NOT WORTH IT AT ALL .