STORY: Tess Darent’s world is unravelling. Danger threatens her stepchildren and she is about to be unmasked as a radical political cartoonist and thrown into gaol. The only thing that can save her is a respectable marriage. But when it comes to tying the knot Tess requires a very special husband – one who has neither the desire nor the ability to consummate their marriage.
Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury cannot resist Tess when she asks for the protection of his name. But he has no intention of making a marriage in name only. Will the handsome sea captain be able to persuade the notorious widow to give her heart as well as her reputation into his safekeeping?
REVIEW: This is the fifth book in Nicola Cornick’s Scandalous Women of the Ton series in which she gives two characters from her previous books their HEA.
Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent is a woman on a mission, or two. She is a widow trice over; has a wicked reputation that could put even Rouges to blush and run for the hills; and scandal may as well be her middle name, yet the real woman is somewhat a mystery and a very complex character that not even her family is privy to her most deepest thoughts or feelings.
She is a passionate supporter and contributor to the cause that seeks reforms within the government; she’s a guardian to her two stepchildren, but rarely sees them; she’s also in a need of a fourth husband and not just any man will do. She needs a man who will accept an arrangement of her own specifications.
Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury, has a few missions of his own and getting married is not one of them. His number one priority is to find Jupiter, a pseudonym for the cartoonist whose drawings are offensive to the government and seem to be inciting unrest among people.
As he closes in on the person of interest, he gets blindsided with an offer that he just might regret accepting.
This is only a second book by this author that I’ve read so far, and while I couldn’t connect to the hero and heroine in the first book, this author’s prose drew me to reading the second. May I say that while ‘never judge book by its cover’ applies to many novels I’ve read, in this case ‘never judge an author by only reading one of her books’ totally applies in this case.
What amazing and complex both of these characters were! It was fascinating following the train of thought of both of them. I was filled with awe watching them interact and deal with each other while trying to peel off each others layers and unearth the secrets that would leave them both vulnerable. I just adored the hero, and Teresa just grew on me by every paragraph and page I read. DESIRED moved me, made me laugh and in the end I felt melancholy for leaving them to their HEA.
If you’re in a mood for a truly entertaining, interesting, fascinating and thoroughly sensual romance, this one will fit the bill to a tee!
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* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*