Headlong into sin . . .
A well-practiced rake, weary of easy conquests and empty pleasures, Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, knows women—and his every instinct warns him to beware of this one. Diana Carrick’s brazen overtures have thrown the haunted, sinfully handsome lord completely off his guard. Why, the exquisite temptress stated outright that she wishes to be his lover. But it is neither Diana’s boldness nor her beauty that intrigues him so—it is the innocence he senses behind her worldly mask.
Intent upon the seduction that will finally free her, Diana has set her sights on the notorious Ashcroft—never dreaming that there is much more to the enigmatic rogue than sin and deviltry. His kiss is bewitching, his caress intoxicating—and even the dangerous secret Diana must protect cannot shield her from Ashcroft’s dark allure.
Unwittingly yet most willingly, they are playing with fire. Now the fuse has been lit and there is no escape . . . except surrender.
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Anna Campbell is truly gifted. Every year she comes out with another book that’s just beyond amazing! Her books never feature characters that are the same or plot ideas that are repeated. Each book is a superbly crafted and complex piece of romance fiction that always leaves you satisfied.
What can I say about this book except that I completely and totally loved it? As a veteran romance reader, I’m used to what a usual romance novel entails but it takes a truly original novel to keep me hooked to the story. This was one of those books. I seriously could not stop picking it up to read a little more and when I was not reading it, I was thinking about it. Now that’s a sure sign a book is a hit
The hero of the book is the dashing Tarquin Vale, who we meet and are introduced to as a rake with no principles. Naturally, it turns out that we’re wrong and he does have his own sense of honor and principles. The very first time he hid our heroine’s face in his coat to protect her identity, you just knew. I fell for him right along with Diana. And boyy, does that man know how to please a woman in bed I must have blushed at least a hundred times during the course of the book! He’s generous, kind, thoughtful, forgiving-a genuine jewel in disguise! He may be my favorite Campbell hero yet!
The heroine on the other hand is much harder to like. Once you discover how great Tarquin is, you can’t believe Diana would deceive him. Still, though there have been a lot of conflicting views on this point, I have to say that I felt an affinity with her and couldn’t completely hate her. It was hard to get over the fact that she sold her body for a house though. But after wards, I began to understand her and empathize with her. A very complex character but likable at the end of the day, I say.
When it comes to the writing, there’s no one like Anna Campbell to really get you into the mind of the characters. Though at times, the writing was a bit over the top and too wordy for my tastes, it was spot on and amazing when it came to divulging the characters’ thoughts and emotions. I felt like I really knew and understood these characters and I could place myself into their shoes. The plot was hooking and kept me interested the whole way. I have to say that I found the ending a bit rushed and cheesy though and personally I would have liked a little more groveling on the hero’s side. It was the book’s only flaw in my opinion that kept it from being perfection.
As for the love scenes… well it’s an Anna Campbell book. If your tastes don’t run to explicitly detailed and very long and spicy love scenes than you should probably stay away. There were alot of love scenes in the book but they weren’t gratuitous. Campbell doesn’t write sex just for sex’s sake. The love scenes had a purpose in the development of the plot, which made it ok for me as I usually don’t like too much sex. At times it did feel like the couple were into each other just for the sex. They had an undeniable sexual tension thoughout the book which was their relationship starting point.
Still, all in all a great, complex, hooking, well written romance novel that I would definitely read again. Can’t wait for Anna’s next!
Sensuality Level: EXPLICIT (Very detailed love scenes and numerous in number)
Verdict: Spicy and romantic, with an amazing hero and a plot so hooking, it will have you up all night!
Rating: 4 and a half out of 5 stars