Sparks abound in this sizzling new Legendary Lovers tale from New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan, in which a seductive rakehell must woo his spirited but love-shy bride while unmasking a mysterious assailant.
Despite his notorious reputation, Quinn Wilde, Earl of Traherne, has mostly honorable intentions. So when beautiful Venetia Stratham boldly enters a gentlemen’s club, demanding that Quinn stop courting her sister, he does what any bachelor would do: He kisses her. With her sharp wit, intoxicating passion, and surprising vulnerability, Venetia is irresistible—except for all this nonsense about threatening to shoot Quinn. But when clandestine enemies make an actual attempt on the earl’s life, Venetia is implicated. To save her good name, Quinn does what any true gentleman must do: He proposes.
Thus Venetia finds herself wed to arrogant, wickedly sensual Quinn, whose devilish ways are as legendary as his rumored skills as a lover. Yet vexingly, her body rebels against her vow to remain immune to his many charms. If only she could reform the infuriating nobleman—without diminishing his undeniable allure. As Venetia discovers that a true rake is hard to tame, Quinn faces an even greater challenge: winning his wife’s fragile trust . . . while defending both their lives.
Praise for The Art of Taming a Rake
“A sweet and tender romance with a perfect blend of adventure and mystery . . . The repartee between the two protagonists—both of whom are struggling to stay detached—is engaging verbal foreplay that captures the heat of their physical attraction. . . . Readers will yearn for the lovers to at last be able to devote their sincere and thoughtful attention to each other.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[Jordan] adds just the right amount of danger and a large amount of passion in this well-written love story.”—RT Book Reviews
“Both sensuous and emotional, this story is a true pleasure.”—BookPage
“Jordan spices up the plot of her Regency romance with an intriguing thread of danger, but longtime fans of this best-selling author needn’t worry about a lack of potent passion, since Jordan also serves up plenty of the lushly sensual love scenes for which she is famous.”—Booklist
Jordan's fourth Legendary Lovers Regency (after Secrets of Seduction) is a sweet and tender romance with a perfect blend of adventure and mystery. Venetia Stratham visits the most notorious sin club in London to get proof that Quinn Wilde, the Earl of Traherne the man rumored to be in romantic pursuit of her sister, Ophelia is a "rake of the first order." Over the next several days their encounters involve scintillating bantering, kisses, and dodging some mysterious attempts on Quinn's life from unknown assailants. In short order, Quinn decides that the only way to protect Venetia from his enemies and to reassure her that he'll never pursue Ophelia is to propose to her. Venetia is left wondering just how to tame her husband the rake, a task complicated by her growing affection for him. Jordan deftly interweaves the development of the romance and the slow revelation of clues about who's behind the attempts on Quinn's life. The repartee between the two protagonists both of whom are struggling to stay detached is engaging verbal foreplay that captures the heat of their physical attraction to each other. The characterization is rich, and it develops naturally through evocative dialogue and actions. The interaction between characters also highlights the ways that their emotions are ruled by social demands, and readers will yearn for the lovers to at last be able to devote their sincere and thoughtful attention to each other, instead of having to contend with the need to preserve their social standing.
good contrast between hero and heroine, even if he did carry the day
The first I have read from this author or in this series, The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan was a mixed bag for me. The characters had a rather infamous first meeting, as Venetia met Quinn as he escorted her hungover and disreputable groom to the altar. After fleeing that moment and finding herself the subject of scandal and family displeasure, she retreated to France. But a note stating her sister is to marry her ex-fiance’s running partner send her back to England to release her sister from the commitment.
This alone was plenty of fodder for a story, with the background between Quinn and Venetia and their resulting attitudes that make them both hesitant to commit despite the very palpable attraction between them. What happens here is the back and forth as they flirt with and then retreat from this attraction, while the world around them interferes, inserts and often is at cross-purposes to their connection.
Quinn was a standout in this story, I enjoyed his caring demeanor despite his reputation, and he provided a solid picture of his own character, complete with good humor. Venetia is one of those scandalous for her behavior, yet wholly immature and insecure despite some very adult decisions. This made her more erratic and unfocused, and often harshly judgmental about little things as she ignored the important ones. She was just in need of some growing up, to let go of her preconceived dreams of what life should be so she could accept things as they were.
As I said before, there were plenty of elements that interrupted the flow of the story and really were extraneous, not truly given enough attention to be a true element, but included nonetheless, and this made the read lag in those places where those elements, particularly the threat to Quinn’s life, even when he won’t take it seriously, took primary focus. Otherwise, the read bounced along nicely with a good contrast between hero and heroine, even if he did carry the day and the story.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility