Monday, February 28, 2011
A Most Sinful Proposal
Marissa Rotherchild is determined to never marry anyone like her parents as she is sick of being second behind their beloved plants. She meets George Kent at a botanical society meeting and they instantly click at being out of place among the many plant obsessed people there. George's brother Valentine is an expert on roses and he, too, has no interest in plants and invites Marissa to his familial estate, Abbey Thorne Manor for a house party. Marissa arrives with her grandmother, Lady Bethany, in tow, only to discover that not only is there no house party, but George is not even in residence. Instead Marissa meets Lord Valentine Kent whom Marissa is immediately attracted to, and while it is certainly reciprocated, Valentine is a plant lover and that is not something Marissa can overlook. He explains to her that he is searching for the Crusader's Rose, a rose that his ancestor brought back from the crusades that was destroyed a generation ago, but is believed to have survived somewhere in England to this day. He has made it his life's mission to find this rose, before anyone else.
Baron Augustus von Hautt is also searching for this rose because of an unknown personal vendetta against Valentine, and he will stop at absolutely nothing to get it. When Valentine gets a new lead, he discovers that the Baron has beaten him there and he is forced to acknowledge that there is a spy in his house feeding information to the Baron. George reappears and Marissa realizes that she could never be happy with a man who never takes responsibility and who had no problem abandoning her to his brother, and that it is really Valentine she is coming to care for. She finds herself completely intrigued and caught up with the search for the Crusaders Rose and it is not long before the Baron has set his sights on her as well. Valentine is furious that anyone would threaten Marissa and all of his possessive and protective instincts come out as he is more determined than ever to find the Baron so that Marissa will always be safe. Valentine knows that Marissa is far more important to him than any rose, but he needs to prove this to her and show her that she, not the rose, makes his life complete.
I will admit that I bought this book for the cover; it is incredibly sexy and I really wanted to read it even though the blurb did serve as a warning that I might not like it. I found Marissa fairly likable as she was adventurous and carefree and her feelings about botanists were very understandable and all of her fears were justified. Valentine was not as likable as I did not at all care about his rose and that seemed to be his biggest concern in life. I did like that throughout the story Marissa became more important to him until the rose was almost out of thought and she was his world, but the rose was always there at the back of his mind. The did work together fairly well as a couple as toward the end she started to care about the rose as well and they spent quite a bit of time together. The sex was fairly tame, with just a couple of very short and mild sex scenes, a lot of innuendo and hints of things to come, and some kisses. It was disappointing to say the least as they were so incredibly attracted to each other and because I do sometimes judge a book by its' cover and was expecting quite a bit more.
Unfortunately the relationship was completely over powered by the search for the rose, by talk about the rose, by speculation about the rose, and by fights over the rose. The book was the rose, the rose, the rose and I just could not bring myself to care about the rose! It's a rose people!!! Just a rose! They tried to make it exciting by having the Baron go crazy and threaten everyone and it worked to some extent. I did want to know what was going on with him and why he was so hateful of the Kent family and that part of the story was quite interesting and more than a little surprising. It did not make me like the rose plot at all and it kind of seemed like the only thing Valentine and Marissa had in common and all their time together was spent in discussions about the rose or her fears that he was too obsessed with the rose. I did like her grandmother Bethany because that is the coolest name ever ;) and because she was so Bohemian and I wanted a grandmother like her. There was a cute little side romance between Bethany and an older gentleman friend of Valentine's, Lord Jasper, which was cute and short.
Rating: I tried to like this book but I really just couldn't. Marissa and Valentine had their moments, but the rose just bored me to tears and couldn't keep me interested.