Pages - 400 pages
Originally Published - 2003
Publisher - HarperCollins e-books
Publication Date - October 13, 2009
Kindle - link
Genre - Regency Romance
Series - Bow Street Runners #3
Language - mild
Sexual Content - 4:5
Nick Gentry, the most seductive and dangerous man in England, has been sent to find Charlotte Howard, a runaway bride who has disappeared without a trace. But when he finds her, Nick is stunned by the intensity of his attraction to the elusive young woman whose adventurous spirit matches his own.
Determined to escape a forced marriage to a man who will destroy her, Charlotte agrees to an audacious bargain . . . she will become Nick Gentry's bride. But soon she discovers that Nick has secrets of his own, and it will take all her wits and stubborn will to tame his tormented soul.
In the desperate quest to protect Charlotte from the diabolical aristocrat who threatens her, one thing becomes clear: to save the woman he loves, Nick will take any risk . . . and pay any price.
188 Kindle reviews and 29 are 'critical' (3 or less stars) although, again, some of the 3-stars are favorable.
Sadly, of the three novels in this series, I had looked forward to Nick's story yet ended up being disappointed.
Far, too much graphic sex and not enough of the Lisa Kleypas knowledge about the era to make me want to care.
My third time reading this one, and I'm still not able to wrap my head around Nick's reluctance to leave such a wicked, sinister, and horrific past behind him.
One would think a mind would want desperately to block it out at the least or determine ones self to rewrite the chapter before embarking on a new, more worthwhile and fulfilling future.
Nick wallowed in that filth for a quick buck for years and refused to let it go even when nightmares and guilt assailed him daily.
The opening scene was interesting and somewhat shocking, but it didn't work to help me know Nick or root for his cause because there never really was a cause, just more of the same debauched, mindless lifestyle he kept thinking was too horrible to think about or want to discuss with anyone.
At least he took up his brother-in-law, Ross Cannon's, gauntlet and became a Bow Street Runner, but it was hardly a redeeming quality when Nick's mind remained in the past along with his attitude and stubborn refusal to let it all go and be who he really was or actually needed to be in order to actually set himself free.
I loved Charlotte, though, and we're introduced to Lord Westbrook (Wallflowers Series) as well.
Charlotte (Lottie) works as a companion to Lady Westbrook (the Lord's mother) when Nick Gentry arrives at the country estate to recover from what Ross Cannon had said was ennui, something Lord Westbrook sneers at as being a shameful male malady.
Nick doesn't have a whole lot of trouble acting the part of Lord Sidney (his real title) and doesn't let Lord Westbrook's abrupt mannerism intimidate him, either.
Then he sees a vision of loveliness standing atop a high wall overlooking the valley, and he fears she'll fall to her death so he deftly hops up beside her and catches her when she's startled by him.
The two exchange words, Nick grins at her the whole time, and Lottie is slow to discover his real charms.
She's hiding in the country after having run away from home.
Her destitute yet titled parents have offered her to an elderly gentleman as a bride, but after a few years of putting up with the creepy old man's demented notions, Lottie decides death is better than a lifetime spent with the twisted old man.
She knows she's being selfish since her family depends on the old man's financial backing to survive, but Lottie can't bring herself to marry a man who is determined to mold her into someone she isn't.
Nick is infatuated with the pretty and spirited young lady with a mind of her own and pursues her throughout the countryside until Lord Westbrook intercedes.
He's discovered that Lord Sidney is dead and that Lottie has run from the arranged marriage.
Nick Gentry is there to take Charlotte back to the man who paid him to find her.
Furious, Lottie lashes out at Nick, accusing him of betraying her trust after he'd stolen some kisses and offered his hand in marriage when in reality he's just there to hunt her down and take her back to her parents.
Again, Nick isn't intimidated by Westbrook's bluster or Lottie's tirade and decides that marrying her is the best for all.
Stunned, Lottie decides to agree with the decision since it will mean she is still free from the creepy old man and his even creepier ideas about marriage.
They have sex in the carriage ride back to London, sex when they're settled in at Nick's place, and more sex each time Nick enters her private chambers.
The only thing Nick can't do is spend a night with Lottie because of the recurring nightmares about his awful past spent on The Hulk.
Nick learned about sex from an experienced and high-class madam, who spent close to three years teaching him everything she knew from the myriad of books she'd collected over time.
So, yes, Lisa offered to change things up just a bit in the staid sex scenes that occur in all of her novels, but my heavens!
Scene after vulgarly worded sex scene gleaned from a variety of ancient tomes Lisa no-doubt poured over for this particular novel -- without the mention of love, concern, future, family, or even affection.
Neither character was supposed to believe in love or even the concept of family.
Eventually, though, Nick reveals his deepest, darkest secret to Lottie, and then Lottie finds herself in a predicament with the creepy old man while Nick has a brush with death so that both lovers end up realizing their true feelings and vow to adhere to them forevermore.
This just wasn't a page-turner and not what I had hoped for from one of my favorite authors.
|The Bow Street Runners series|