Author: Bronwen Evans
Publisher: Random House – Loveswept
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: Lady Marisa Hawkestone’s nightmare is just beginning when she wakes up naked, with no memory of the night before, lying next to Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton—a man so aloof and rational he’s nicknamed “the Cold Duke.” A scandal ensues, in which Marisa’s beloved beau deserts her. As a compromised woman, Marisa agrees to marry Maitland. But on her wedding night, Marisa discovers the one place the duke shows emotion: in the bedroom, where the man positively scorches the sheets.
Taught from a young age to take duty seriously, Maitland cannot understand his new wife’s demands on his love and affection. Marisa’s hot-blooded spirit, however, does have its attractions—especially at night. In retrospect, it seems quite silly that he didn’t marry sooner. But being one of the Libertine Scholars requires constant vigilance, even more so when the enemy with a grudge against his closest friends targets Marisa. Now Maitland must save the woman who sets his heart aflame—or die trying.
Review: Such an enchanting quick read! This historical is funny and gives us a taste of English society at its most stuffy. Luckily the Lord in question is a bit of an original and his bride has a mind of her own –two things which make this different than business as usual. Though it’s the first I’ve read in the series, I can already see that I’m going to go back and read the others to enrich my familiarization with these disgraced lords–all in the name of science, you understand!?
Our hero met the other disgraced lords while in school at Eton. where they earned the sobriquet Libertine Scholars because of their endless quest for pleasure as well as for their scholarly brilliance. Unbeknownst to them, ten years earlier they’d earned a vicious enemy–a woman who was determined to make them pay for the sins of their fathers. In this book, the elusive De Palma has successfully attacked three of the six–damaging careers and almost costing lives. They’re nowhere near to discovering who she is–and live in constant fear of where she’ll strike next.
And apparently it’s at Lord Dunmire’s ball! With one fell swoop, two Scholars are attacked. Not only is Maitland Spencer, the Duke of Lyttleton involved, but so is the sister of one of the other’s, Marisa Hawkestone. Found in a compromising position, they’re forced to wed. For Maitland, this was no big thing because he didn’t intend to marry for love–in fact, he wanted a wife that he wouldn’t care about. For Marisa, however, this was awful! She’d been expecting a proposal from another that she was in lurve with…and! She wanted to marry for love, not convenience!
Watching as the two come to terms with this and possibly more is interesting, especially when it’s juxtaposed against the increasingly dangerous manipulations of the crazed De Palma. As her attempts increase in both scale and daring, will Maitland be able to protect his wife of convenience that he may actually be starting to care for? And will Marisa find true love?
Read all about it in A Whisper of Desire! I did, and I’m going back to read the others. Bronwen’s got a new fangirl.