Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Indecent Proposition

It’s the talk of the town. In a less than sober moment, London’s two most notorious rakes—the Earl of Manderville and the Duke of Rothay—placed a very public wager on which of them is the superior lover. Now it’s too late to retract the foolish bet, but what woman of beauty, intelligence, and discernment, would consent to bed both men—and declare which is more skilled in satisfying her deepest desires?

Lady Carolyn Wynn is the last woman anyone would expect to step forward. She’s a respectable young widow with an icy reputation, which has kept her firmly off the marriage market. She may not desire another husband, but her brief marriage has left her with some scandalous questions about the act of love.

If the men will keep her identity a secret, she’ll decide who has the most finesse between the sheets. But to everyone’s surprise, what begins as an indelicate proposition turns into a most astonishing lesson in everlasting love…

I could not put this book down!

Sweet and steamy - this one is a keeper! I sort of hesitated when I bought this book because I don't make a point of seeking out the extra-sensual reads and the back cover blurb (above) doesn't exactly beat around the bush. However, I was very pleasantly surprised that the story line had wonderful substance, which truly made it a fabulous read.

Yes, there are two rakes who made a bet over drunken arrogance. And yes, there is a chilly widow who offers herself to be the judge between them, but there is so much more to this story! Caroline is a highly respected and beautiful young widow who has no desire to ever remarry given the fact that her first husband treated her terribly, in and outside the marriage bed. As a result, she is known for her chilly reputation when it comes to men but underneath the layers of ice Caroline yearns for the passion that was denied her in marriage and, really, who would ever suspect she would offer to help these two rakes settle this absurd, but very public bet anyway? With both men promising discretion, Nicholas Manning, the Duke of Rothay is genuinely intrigued by this woman and arranges his rendezvous first.

Meanwhile, Derek Drake, the Earl of Manderville dives into a subplot of his own and we quickly learn that a mistake he made a year ago was the reason that this whole wager came to be in the first place. As a result, he is now forced to watch the woman he loves prepare to marry another man. But when Caroline and Nick return from their week in the country, could it be that these two rakes discover much more than what they had bargained for?

I really enjoyed this book and loved how the author intertwined these two stories. Nick and Caroline’s relationship develops quickly given the circumstances, but both are bright, intelligent people who share more than just chemistry and a wariness when it comes to love. Derek and Annabel’s story may have started a year ago, but Annabel has tried hard to put the past behind her while Derek has been brooding and regretful ever since. Can these four people find their happiness?

Derek’s subplot is sweet and romantic while Nick’s story is more tender and passionate. And, really, it’s a beautiful balance. This was a fabulous debut into historical romance for Emma Wildes, and I can’t wait to start reading her second book in this genre, Lessons From a Scarlet Lady, which was released earlier this year. Ms. Wildes also has a backlist of books that can be found in the erotica section if you hanker for more, but myself, I will stick with her historical romance works and hope she continues to write in this genre!

My rating: 9 – LOVED it!

No comments:

Post a Comment