by Victoria Lynne
Published: Amazon, July 2010 (eBook) and Dell, July 1999 (Paperback)
Source: ebook review copy from CBLS Promotions
The Blurb (as per tour info):
Beauty and the beast: they were the scandal of the ton. All eyes feasted on the beautiful flame-haired gambler in London’s most infamous club. But Julia Prentisse was interested only in the rake-turned-recluse whom they now called “The Beast.” She lured him out of the crowded club to a deserted warehouse, where she made her scandalous offer: If he married her and protected her from her uncle, she would help him capture the arsonist who had ruined his life.
An act of heroism had left Morgan St. James burned, scarred for life, but Julia’s bold gaze lit other fires he had long suppressed. And now this glorious stranger was his bride. But when he tried to claim his husbandly rights, she demanded three months grace—three months to know a stranger’s mind, to touch a stranger’s soul, to go where no woman had ever gone before. Into his heart…
What I thought:"And as your wife, it is my duty to accommodate your wishes. I will attempt to do so—within reason.""Whose determination is it if my requests are reasonable?""Mine, of course."
I spent most of my early twenties devouring Regency romance novels right alongside my perpetual favourite fantasy novels, so believe me when I say I've read a lot of them.
Ms Lynn's With this Kiss covers much of the traditional regency romance ground - handsome, rich has-it-all aristocrat and beautiful, not quite so fortunate heroine, love at once reluctant and sizzling. It's also the beauty-and-the-beast story the blurb refers to. Morgan St James is injured, scarred, made ugly in his own eyes and in the ton's, in a fire set by the ominously named Lazarus. Julia Prentiss, the beauty, has suffered at Lazarus' hands, too - and suffers still, for he will not leave her alone.
Let me start by saying that I love the names Ms Lynn gave her characters - nomen est omen, after all. "Morgan St James" - classic regency name, that. Morgan made me think of pirates, a bad boy, ruthless and successful. St James lends it respectability. Julia is a sensual name, smooth and almost lyrical. Prentiss brings her back down to earth. She's not sensual on the outside, she wants to be thoroughly governed by reason, be independent and proper all at once. She goes her own way as much as is possible in those times.
Ahem. Sorry, that's my inner writer.
So, as you can see, I started out reading the story with my writerly parts all expectant and happy. Well, they weren't dissappointed... while this is a regency story that does, as I said, cover much of the traditional ground, that's not all it is. The tragedy that cost Morgan so much comes back to haunt them both as Lazarus reemerges from the shadows, but the danger also pushes the two of them together...and the hunt is on. Out comes Morgan's inner pirate while Julia discoveres her sensual side! Nothing too surprising in that respect, but thoroughly satisfying. The ending is, too, but I'm not going to go into that because I don't want to spoil it for you.
Suffice to say that this is a smoothly written, easily read regency romance with strong murder mystery elements to heat up the action. The main characters - our beauty and beast - are likeable, loveable and easy to let yourself fall into. And isn't that what we're looking for, when we pick up a romance of any sort?
What you should consider:
If you've never read a regency romance, do give them a try. This book is certainly a good place to start - it has many modern-life elements (starting with a rather very socially minded and independent heroine) that appealed to me as a modern reader, but Ms Lynne still kept the style of storytelling (especially language-wise) well within the regency frame of things. If you're an old hand at regency romance and like mysteries too, give this a try!
|(8 out of 10 cupcakes)|
Where you can get this book:
Amazon Kindle Edition
Amazon Paperback Edition
Barnes & Noble Paperback
About the Author:
Victoria Lynne is the author of five historical romance novels. She’s received two RITA Award nominations, and has consistently earned Romantic Times’ “Top Pick” award. Called “A Fabulous Storyteller!” by Rendezvous Magazine, her work consistently draws rave reviews and continues to attract new readers. Her books have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish, and are currently available online through Kindle and Nook.
Ms. Lynne lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. When she’s not plotting her next novel, she loves to get away from her keyboard to ski and hike.
Find her on Facebook, too!