If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Duke of Dark Desires by MirandaNeville / @TastyBookTours @miranda_neville

Title: The Wild Quartet #4: The Duke of Dark Desires
Author: Miranda Neville
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 30, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: Edelweiss
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours

Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours…

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified-to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation … without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation…

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn’t seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke’s relatives is responsible for the death of her family-and take her revenge. She certainly can’t afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she’s faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she’s sworn to kill?

Other books in this series

Julian and Jane's pasts weren't connected by thin threads of passing acquaintances or mutual relationships. They were thickly entwined, knotted together by events that were meant to save lives but didn't. Julian never forgot Jane's family or his failure at keeping them safe. Jane never forgot the betrayal by someone in Julian's family that sent her own family (father, mother, and two sisters) to the guillotine. The heavy weight of guilt followed Julian for nine years, while Jane's desire for revenge grew steadily during those years.

Ms. Neville did a spectacular job keeping their respective pasts separate until that perfect moment when Julian's love for art took center stage and forced Jane's past to come to light. The aftermath was devastating; my heart sank when it felt like Julian and Jane's love was coming to an end. It was a brilliant move by Ms. Neville to use that moment to her advantage by revealing betrayal was closer to Jane than she'd thought all along.

A delightful addition to the cast were Julian's half-sisters. They argued and fought like only sisters could, but loved like only sisters could too. Despite the bickering, snide remarks, and sarcasm, the love they had for one another was always there. And for Jane, who lost her sisters so tragically, being with them gave her a chance to be a sister again, to intervene when necessary, to help them understand one another like she'd done with her own sisters. It was so heartwarming to see Jane have that with them.

What I loved the most was the pace of Julian and Jane's relationship. It was slow and sensual, filled with promise and potential almost from the beginning. I couldn't wait for them to fall in love, to make love for the first time, and I wasn't disappointed when both of those happened. There was so much between them than just physical attraction by that point; their relationship was natural, earthy, and real, you know?

This story took me by surprise. I was expecting something darker, something more forbidden, but was delighted by how light it was. The sadness and tragedy of their pasts aren't forgotten but neither does it overshadow what's currently developing. Love took its time, overcame incredible odds, and brought together two people who not only desired it but needed it.

Miranda Neville grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby’s rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor, she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont. She loves hearing from readers and may be reached through her website.

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