A MOST FORBIDDEN LOVE
They call him Chance, though in truth the Marquess of Fairlamb feels bitterly cursed: A long-ago family feud is standing in the way of his heart's desire. Lady Tempest is the daughter of his father's sworn enemy, the Marquess of Norgrave. She is beautiful, innocent, and utterly untouchable. But some seductions are just too good to resist...
Tempest is a woman of her own mind-and a true romantic who will overcome every obstacle to be with the man of her dreams. But the odds are against the handsome, wickedly charming Chance if he intends to win Tempest as his bride. Will he choose loyalty to his family-or risk everything he has for the woman he yearns for?
Hawkins's second Masters of Seduction Regency (after A Duke but No Gentleman) revels in forbidden love between the children of feuding families. Mathias "Chance" Rooke, Marquess of Fairlamb, is frequently at odds with Oliver Brant, Earl of Marcroft, not least because their fathers are sworn enemies. When Chance meets Oliver's sister, Tempest, after she spies on him and his friends swimming in the river, he is intrigued by her. As they secretly spend more time together, Chance's attraction to other women diminishes, and he knows that Tempest is the only woman for him. Though both of their families warn them away from one another after hearing rumors of their assignations, Tempest and Chance continue to risk the ire of their parents by meeting in secret, as their mutual attraction is too strong to be ignored. Sensual romance fills the pages of this novel, which is rich with smart, well-rounded characters and an engaging plot.
This very much has the Hatfield's and McCoys/Romeo and Juliet feel too it, but this actually involves the Fairlamb/Norgrave. The hero and heroine's families HATE each other and it's a well known fact in London and that neither family or family member should be in the vicinity of the other. The children aren't sure why the parents have such hate/animosity towards each other, but they are definetley loyal to their parents. But of course the the ending in this scenario is a happy one.
We open with Chance Fairlamb our hero in a brawl with Marcroft Norgrave and that sets the underlining feel and tone of hatred that the two have for each other as well as the families. I thought the author did a very good job in conveying to the reader the intensity of that hatred. As we read further we have the scene of the first meeting for our hero and heroine. Chance and his friends are skinny dipping and our heroine stumbles upon all three men (her sister accidentally also comes into the scene just minutes later). The girls return to their younger siblings and chaperone acting as though nothing happened. But eventual the gentlemen find/run into the group of young ladies taking in some sun as well as sketching, reading and just relaxing. Introductions are made and instant awareness develops between Chance and Tempest. Neither is aware of their last names until the end of their conversation and it's Chance who discovers who Tempest is and instantly withdraws and leaves. Tempest returns home and runs into Marcroft (her older brother) he has been informed by the chaperone of what transpired. He then informs his sister who Chance really is and tells her to stay away.
But life is funny that way because Chance and Tempest find they are now running into each other quite often, when it never had happened in the past. Each feels the pull of attraction and fights it out of loyalty to their family. Chance and Tempest begin to question the feud/hate and wonder what caused it. They slowly become aquatinted with no one knowing and realize the attraction is too strong to resist. They meet in secret, come to like each other and fall in love. But so many forces are at play; Tempest Father pushing for marriage with a certain Marquess, ex-lovers coming back into the picture, friends/family giving warnings of the futility of the situation. But the two forge on and eventually marry in secret. And things get somewhat ugly and tumultuous after it comes out that they have married, secrets are revealed and some wrongs are righted
I really liked the hero and heroine. Both had good hearts and loyalty to their family (the villain in this story is Tempest Father and she struggles with her loyalty to him). Chance and Tempest relationships was engaging (even with the cloud of animosity between the familes), sweet, funny and had plenty of sexual tension. Chances friends, I LOVED them and cannot wait for their stories, they were such support and wonderful friends. I also liked Tempest sister, Arabella and hope that one of Chances friends and her have their own HEA.
I enjoyed reading and watching the unfolding of Chance and Tempest love story. It had me engaged and immersed in their determination and quest for their HEA. This was well written, had very good pacing and I loved all the secondary characters (but Tempest Father, I hated him). My issue with the book was towards the end and how the secrets came to light, as well as the reaction and resolution. I felt in needed several more chapters to give it true justification for the heaviness of the subject matter and closure to what had happened. It seemed to end abruptly and didn't flow as smoothly as it could have. It ended with me feeling okay/good but not great. Looking forward to reading the next book~Waiting For an Earl like you~