TBR reviewer: B.H.
else—forbidden love for a man who could destroy them both.
Marcus Craven, Duke of Penhale, wants Le Petite Oiseau as his mistress, but he's also sworn to hunt down and revenge himself on the hazel-eyed girl who once shot at him with a
dueling pistol. On this winter's evening when he finds both women in his path, he suddenly faces a dilemma.
What exactly does Marcus want? The fiery, passionate actress or the quiet "mouse" hiding in her shadow? perhaps this notorious rake wants them both.
Ms. Fresina has a way with words. Right from the begin the scene is described perfectly and her details are almost poetic. Holly is a mysterious beauty and dancer, which is a lie. She’s actually Emma, a quiet seamstress. Marcus Craven is a sexy man from Emma’s past who is falling for her wicked persona. He has no idea about her real identity. This makes for a
compelling tale of searching for true love.
The sex scenes are more than lust, they’re romantic and beautiful. It really gives the characters a deeper connection. Emma is a wonderful characters, she’s tough, jaded by love and hates the soft spot she has for Marcus. She also speaks her mind which I am always a fan of. The sexy man himself is a typical male, or is he? As the story moves along we see sides of him that show just how big his heart is, among other things. The dialogue is witty and entertaining. It keeps the pace concise. I honestly couldn’t put it down.
When the truth was finally revealed, I was on the edge of my seat and was grinning like a fool. Ms. Fresina ended this so perfectly. This just proves it yet again – Jayne Fresina is a talented writer that every romance reader should try!
He shifted forward. Soft, amber light from the gas lamp caressed his long, narrow nose, dark brows, and thin lips; a lean, tanned, aristocratic face.
“Don’t be cross with your maid.” There was a flare of gleaming white when he smiled
crookedly, the wolf that tricked Red Riding Hood. “She very obligingly agreed to leave us alone for a few minutes while you thanked me for those diamond earrings I sent you today.”
In a flutter of feathers, she swiveled to face him, fingers trembling too much now to fuss with the clasp on her choker.
“I’m sure it was an oversight on your part,” he added calmly, “not to wear them for me tonight.”
“Those ghastly, big things?” She wrinkled her nose. “You can have them back.”
For the last three nights, he’d haunted her on stage, then appeared in her dressing room, waiting for her like this. It was a mistake letting him in, she realized, eyeing his lounging, arrogant sprawl. He looked as if he owned the place, as if he owned her. And no man owned Holly O’Neil.
Not even the blasted Duke of Penhale.
On fire, her nerves stretched so thin they were ready to snap. Her fingers clawed across the dressing table, searching for the unwanted gift. “I don’t want them.” She never accepted jewelry from men. It was a rule of hers. One of many.
He stood, unraveling his lengthy limbs, filling the corner of her untidy room, making everything else seem miniature, the space too tight for air. Before he took a step toward her, she was up, facing him, her fingers clasped around the wooden chair-back, ready to use it as a lion tamer would. “I’ll return them in the morning, when I find them. Lucette must have moved the box.”
If he reached up with his hands, he could press his palms flat to her ceiling and very probably rip her room apart at the seams. “Why are you so angry with me?”
She tossed her hair over one shoulder, chin high. “Because you’re an arrogant bugger.” Her fingers tightened around the chair-back as he approached slowly, until he towered over her. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
“I’m the one you’ve been waiting for, Miss…O’Neil.”
His gall was breathtaking. Eyebrow arched, she exclaimed pertly, “You mean you’re the chimney sweep who was supposed to come on Tuesday?”
He paused, eyes narrowed. There was a very slight twitch in his jaw.
“Or are you the man about the rats in the attic?”
When he began to crack his knuckles, a frisson of anticipation leapt along her spine.
“Don’t tell me.” She held up one hand, small palm in his face. “You’re a brush salesman and you’re going to offer me the bargain of a lifetime.”
He grabbed her wrist, his firm fingers wrapped tight around it, bringing her hand to his lips. “I can be all those things. Whatever you need.”