"Be prepared to laugh and cry as you read this heart-wrenching story"
Reviewed by Leanne Davis
Posted September 11, 2010
Lady Joanna Ware is a merry widow. Her husband was a famous
Arctic explorer who died a hero. Only a few knew how the
brave man treated his wife. Joanna has no intention of
wedding again. If only she could convince her suitors of
that fact. She has built a life for herself since her
husband's death which allows her to maintain her standing in
Alex, Lord Grant, has sought out Lady Joanna to deliver on
his promise to his best friend, the man who saved his
life. He met Joanna at the wedding but has not seen her
since. Because David was full of bitter comments about his
wife, Alex has formed a low opinion of Joanna. His plans,
once this errand is completed, are to travel to Scotland
and take control of his estate until the Admiralty sends him
out once again.
He is shocked when he calls on Lady Joanna to find her
dressed in bold colors. There are no signs of mourning in
the house and Lady Joanna is refusing another offer for her
hand. Everything he sees of her seems to confirm all the
negative comments made by David.
Only the contents of the letter to Joanna left by David will
cause Alex to question his opinions of Joanna and David.
David's letter tells of his illegitimate daughter in the
Arctic and hints of a treasure. He requests that Joanna
travel to the Arctic to bring his daughter home and raise
her as her own. His desire isn't to provide a better life
for the girl but to taunt Joanna with her existence. Alex's
plans change when the letter also request that Alex act as
Nina's guardian. Joanna and her friend, Mrs. Cummings,
decide to retrieve Lord Ware's daughter and return with her
to London. Alex insists on accompanying them, despite
Joanna's reservations. The attraction between Alex and
Joanna is strong and their marriage of convenience, intended
to benefit the child, will not last long.
Ms. Cornick has written a strong story with a somewhat
tragic heroine who has to overcome both physical and
emotional trauma to build a a new life for herself. Readers
may first think of Joanna as a shallow, selfish creature but
will soon find themselves disabused of that notion as the
full extent of the horrors of her marriage are exposed.
They will grow to appreciate her strength in the face of
Alex is a strong man who finally faces the downfall of his
hero and the fact that the woman he married is nothing like
the woman David portrayed. As his dislike turns to
admiration, he becomes a much more likable character. As
usual, the author has created some strong secondary
likable, some not.
Be prepared to laugh and cry as you read the heart-wrenching
story of a marriage gone bad. The strength of the characters
will draw you into this wonderful romance.
Lady Joanna Ware has no desire to wed again but that doesn't
stop the flurry of suitors knocking on her door. Desperate
to thwart another proposal, Joanna brazenly kisses Arctic
explorer Alex, Lord Grant. Unable to deny the blazing
attraction that flares, Joanna knows she's just set the
gossip mill turning.
After suffering countless infidelities during her marriage,
she's accustomed to scandal. But nothing prepares her for
the shocking news that her deceased husband has bequeathed
his illegitimate child to her and his friend Alex.
As rumors run rampant int he ton, Joanna and Alex travel to
the Arctic to claim the orphan. Battling blizzards,
dangerous wildlife and a teacherous plot, Alex must protect
Joanna but not before he wickedly seduces her...
She turned to find Alex very close to her.
"You’re crying," he said, his voice rough with some
emotion she could not place.
"Of course I’m crying!" Joanna exclaimed. "I have had a
very bad week!" She flashed him a look. "Go away, Lord
Grant. Can you not take a hint? I really do not want to cry
in front of you!"
Alex ignored her words. His hand was on her waist, the
gentle warmth of his touch searing her through the silk
bodice of her gown. How had that happened? He was drawing
her closer, as though he wanted to comfort her. Joanna had
never equated a man’s physical proximity with reassurance
before; David had only ever touched her when he wanted to
make love to her. And surely Alex, of all people, cared
nothing for whether she was distressed or not. She felt
confused, disturbed. She was not sure what was showing on
her face. Alex raised a hand and brushed away the smudges
of her tears with the pad of his thumb. Her heart ached at
the tenderness of the gesture. She looked up to meet the
dazzling intensity of those grey eyes and then he was
kissing her, his mouth gentle and persuasive, and the sheer
surprise of it ripped through her and set her trembling.
"Open your mouth," he whispered and her mind reeled
shock whilst her lips parted in instinctive response to the
command and to the pressure of his. Alex coaxed them
further apart with sensual deliberation and she felt the
slow sweep of his tongue against hers. She could taste
brandy mingled with the salt of her tears. The heat
consumed her then, fierce, scalding her, leaving her
shaking and breathless. They fell apart and stood staring
at one another.
"What was that?" Jo found her voice first. "Comfort?"
"Scarcely that." For a moment Alex looked as stunned as
she felt, his expression taut and astonished, his grey eyes
mirroring her shock and confusion. Joanna felt a violent
wash of pleasure to see how shaken he was.
"That was not what I intended to do," he said slowly.
"I imagine not." Joanna bit her lip. She felt dazed and
heated, her stomach burning with a sensual and wicked
excitement. The air between them felt alive. From the room
next door came the roar of the boxing crowd as atavistic as
a beat in the blood. There was something equally primitive
in Alex’s eyes, but it did not scare her, it called to her.
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