Monday, June 23

Lady of Desire by Gaelen Foley

Book 4 in the Knight Miscellany Series

     So this was the third book I read in my Gaelen Foley binge (see my review of Book 6, One Night of Sin, in her series for the fourth book I read) and I liked it very much. Frequently, we see historical series that have a bunch of older brothers and a spirited younger sister thrown in the mix (see Mary Balogh's Bedwyn Saga). Often these spirited sisters are a little too overly aggressive (overcompensating) for my tastes and all seem to come from the same mold. Jacinda Knight, our leading lady, is a beautiful blend of youth and innocence with the strength and ferocity to understand and overcome the barriers of innocence to her life's adventures. She admits she's wrong, is not wise beyond her years (but is wise enough that she knows it) and has the strength and spirit of youth.

     Our hero, Billy Blade (Earl of Rackford), is unconventional to say the least. With a miserably sad past as the unnecessary second son, Billy has left his aristocratic family behind and is now leader of a gang - the Firehawks. But he still has the manners of a gentleman, when it comes to Jacinda at least, when she wanders into his territory while following the boy who picked her pockets, preventing her from running away from her brother's arranged marriage for her. She is fascinated by his dangerous allure (and tattoos) but when he finds out who she is (after a stolen kiss and a few other liberties), he immediately returns her to her family.

     Unfortunately, a set-up forces Blade to either leave his beloved Firehawks behind for ton life or be sent to the gallows. Jacinda is none too happy to see him in London society, but eventually (recognizing a hopelessly lost man) begins to warm to Blade's plight and helps him adjust to his new lifestyle as gentleman and Earl. As they begin working together more closely, the romance blossoms and linger feelings ignite a passion. Foley's story goes beyond the romance, leading to an extended ending, to wrap up a few loose ends of the plot - but instead of being tedious, it's amazing. My favorite moment comes near the end of the book and has very little to do with the romance - and everything to do with Jacinda being amazing. I'd tell you what it is, but I really want you to read it for yourself. Suffice it to say, I can picture her standing on that rooftop, the best backup ever, hair blowing in the wind, the goddess of awesome-sauce and the coolest rescuing heroine ever.

Billy and Jacinda's romance is uniquely beautiful not only because they are unconventional but also because they help each other grow and mature so incredibly. They are so good for one another that it hurts, and it makes the heartbreak of Billy's past and Jacinda's future fade away into the kind of magical HEA that Foley does so well. The writing is superb, the pacing is excellent - there's truly very little to complain about here other than the unrealistic nature of the story's events and a few not-explained-well-enough plot holes (why can Billy's father spring him from jail but not Lucien?). The moment with Billy's father at the end, neatly wrapping up his horrible history, was touching but also a tad unrealistic. Jacinda's awesome - but maybe not awesome enough to cause such a conversation to occur in so short a time.

Favorite Quotes: 

I was not planning on reviewing this book so I didn't grab any quotes for you - but oh my goodness, it was funny. Jacinda and Blade, and the Knight brothers, promise some serious fun.

"Sexy"ness rating: Billy Blade is pretty good with his sword...

Overall Rating: B+

Bottom Line: An amazing heroine with plenty of fighting spirit and a dashing, unconventional gentleman for her lover. The romance was amazing, but truly it was Foley's portrayal of Jacinda that really bumped this book up from an average romance to an amazing romance.

Pages: 412
Published: 2003
Genre: Historical

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