Friday, July 8

Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes

Rumor has it Damien’s story may eventually come out… maybe

This book was adorable from start to finish. It tells the story of two best friends, Brianna Northfield and Rebecca Marston, married and single respectively. Brianna is the wife of Colton, the Duke of Rolthven. She feels he treats her distantly, and is especially disappointed with the careful nature of their lovemaking. She knows she loves him, and its her goal to make sure he loves her because she never wants to have to share him with a mistress. Rebecca is in love with the Duke of Rolthven’s youngest brother – Robert Northfield. She’s loved him for over a year, and he is the reason she’s rejected so many marriage offers. However her parents are pressuring her to marry, and he doesn’t even know she exists. Both women have dilemmas that can be solved by the genius of one woman – Lady Rothburg, a notorious courtesan who’s book of advice has been banned from store shelves.

However Lady R has just the advice Brianna and Rebecca need. Brianna is sweet but very smart, and loving. I really liked that her whole goal throughout the book was to make Colton happy, even if he didn’t recognize the altruism of her efforts at first. I loved how she was firm, stood up for herself, and didn’t back down even as she strove to make him love her and recognize her love for him. I loved how his love for her snuck up on him, and he grew to be both affectionate and passionate with his wife. His fears and jealousy were even amusing, and I thought it made a good closing for the book.

Rebecca and Robert’s story was also really cute – the hardened rake falling for the unconventional bluestocking debutante. I really liked that he shared her love of music, and the scene where they played together brought tears to my eyes (possibly only because I am a musician myself). I thought their story was poignant and beautiful, a truly touching rendition of a rakish dilemma and a young girl’s dreams of love. The bigger they come the harder they fall seemed to fit Robert well, but I liked that he didn’t seem totally resistant and he sort of fell naturally into marrying Rebecca. I also loved that she asked him. J Likw I said - unconventional and fun.

There wasn’t really another plot to the book, it was focused solely on the romances between Robert, Rebecca, Colton, and Brianna. Each story was given equal weight, which I liked. I liked how Colton went to Robert and his grandmother for advice. I liked the misunderstandings that were presented – they were reasonable and were resolved reasonably. The book only got a lower that A+ rating for being a little anticlimactic. However it was an amusing and entertaining read and I had no trouble getting through it. Damien, the middle brother between Colton and Robert, was really funny as well, and definitely kept the book moving. It was a cute, heart-warming read. A book for your to-read shelf.

Favorite quotes:

“Do you mind telling me,” he [Colton] asked unevenly, his chest still lifting in an erratic rhythm as he struggled to regain his breath, “just what has gotten into you, my dear?”
Her [Brianna’s] fingers traced the small of his back. “It seems to me that you are in me, Colton.”

 “Oh hell, well, all right. She… well, she did something she’s never done before.” (Colton)
Oh, that helped. Robert murmured, “Order tea afterwards? Sing a song as she undressed? Dance across the window ledge stark naked? Invite her maid to join you? You are going to have to be blunter.”

“He came to see you.” (Lady Marston)
“He came with Lord Damien. They stopped off merely on their way to anther destination, remember?” (Rebecca)
“Rebecca, I am your mother.
“I didn’t realize it was in dispute.”

“Sexy”ness rating: Hot. Really, really hot.

Overall Rating: A-

Bottom Line: This double-romance was really cute. Brianna’s efforts and exploits with her husband, Colton, are adorable, funny, and heart-warming. Rebecca and Robert’s romance is flirty, fun, devastating, and delicious. A great romantic read. 

Pages: 309
Published: January 5, 2010
Genre: Historical

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