Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wicked Nights With a Lover
Marguerite Laurent leads a quiet life as an end of life nurse until one of her patients hires a fortune teller who foretells Marguerite's death, but only after she marries a man who is desperately in love with her. She is at first skeptical but when other things the fortune teller had predicted come true she worries that she has only a short amount of time left and has not lived her life to the fullest. When she goes to visit the fortune teller she is confronted by a very dark and handsome brute of a man who spends brief moments with her in a carriage, awakening passions she never knew she had, before disappearing. Ash Courtland grew up on the streets of St. Giles and managed to claw his way out of the gutter with the help of Jack Hannigan, the king of the London's underworld. He built quite a fortune for himself and Jack and he is furious when he discovers that Jack plans on leaving his half of the fortune to his three illegitimate daughters- after he marries them off to peers of the realm.
Jack is determined not to let this come to pass and he decides to kidnap one of Jack's daughters and marry her himself. Marguerite has no love for her father, but she does answer his summons, only to find herself kidnapped by the dark and handsome stranger she had met outside the fortune teller's house. Jack proposes a very reasonable marriage that offers her freedom and she can't deny her attraction for him, but she cannot get the prediction of her death out of her mind. She can't prevent herself from succumbing to Jack's overtures and spending so much time with him on the way up to Scotland she begins to think that this might be one risk taking. Jack cannot figure out why Marguerite cannot make up her mind about whether she wants to marry him or run away from him. When she finally makes her decision she is left with the knowledge she may have sealed her own fate and it is only now that she fully realizes how much she has to live for. She would do anything to prevent her untimely death so she can live a full life with Ash, even cheat fate.
The novel is fairly short; although it is a full 374 pages it has large type, large line spacing, and each chapter ends with a blank page. I felt while writing this review that I did not have very much to right about and really the bulk of the review was just set up for them finally meeting and beginning their relationship. I loved that Marguerite was a truly independent woman with a career and was making a go of it, however I found the attempt to fill her life with friends a tad weak as neither friend made an appearance and it felt like it was an attempt to bring past heroines into this novel. However, it set up her meeting with her two half-sisters very well and that was an element of the story that was very well done, if a little too briefly. I am rarely one for paranormal plots and fortune telling falls into that category for me but here I liked that it was more just a fun little way to get Marguerite to take a chance on life and set up her full leap into her relationship with Ash. I did not like that it served as the major sticking point in that relationship as well, as it just seemed a little too crazy.
We got only a brief backstory into Ash and his demons and I liked it better that way as it was just enough for me to gain insight into his actions and his feelings about Jack's betrayal. He was really just a typical romance novel hero from the wrong side of the track who wanted the girl whose parents didn't like him. Their trip up to Scotland was fun and lively providing plenty of opportunity for the two of them to get to know each other and talk. However, Marguerite also went through some very quick mind changes with agreeing to marry him and then changing her mind several times. She made an unbelievable amount of escape attempts and was, of course, waylaid by Ash who wasted no time taking her in hand. There were also some issues involving Ash being so scared of his feelings that he made some big mistakes that lead to an overdone emotional mess at the end, complete with dead relatives beckoning from a white light. There was some decent sex between the two, nothing too exciting, but the two of them were very obviously attracted to each other.
Rating: A very fun and fast book with two interesting if not spectacular characters. The book was satisfying, but nothing special.