Headlong into sin . . .

A well-practiced rake, weary of easy conquests and empty pleasures, Tarquin Vale, Earl of Ashcroft, knows women — and his every instinct warns him to beware of this one. Diana Carrick’s brazen overtures have thrown the haunted, sinfully handsome lord completely off his guard. Why, the exquisite temptress stated outright that she wishes to be his lover. But it is neither Diana’s boldness nor her beauty that intrigues him so — it is the innocence he senses behind her worldly mask.

Intent upon the seduction that will finally free her, Diana has set her sights on the notorious Ashcroft — never dreaming that there is much more to the enigmatic rogue than sin and deviltry. His kiss is bewitching, his caress intoxicating — and even the dangerous secret Diana must protect cannot shield her from Ashcroft’s dark allure.

Unwittingly yet most willingly, they are playing with fire. Now the fuse has been lit and there is no escape . . . except surrender.

MY THOUGHTS: It was published in June 2010 by Avon. The heroine is 28 year old Diana Carrick, blond hair, blue eyes. She’s widowed and childless. The hero is Tarquin Vale, 32 years old, dark hair, green eyes. The story begins in England in 1827.

There isn’t a whole lot going on in this novel. The heroine schemes with her father’s boss, Edgar Fanshawe, the Marquess of Burnley, to get pregnant by Tarquin, his son. Tarquin doesn’t know that Edgar is his father until the end of the story. The plan is for her to get pregnant by Tarquin, NOT tell him, marry the dying, elderly Edgar, and become heir to his fortune and estates. Edgar had lost his two sons and their families in a fire awhile back. Diana agrees to his plan so that her child, when it’s old enough, will inherit everything. Right at the beginning, Diana goes to see Tarquin and flat out tells him she wants to be his lover. He tells her no but then changes his mind.

From here on out, the story is mostly just sex and then a little more sex thrown in. Toward the end of the novel, Diana is ending the affair and Tarquin has her followed so he can know where she lives. He goes in to see her and the deception is revealed and he find out Edgar is his real father. They go their seperate ways when Diana won’t agree to marry Tarquin. Diana is pregnant so she and Edgar get married. Diana and Edgar are at the altar, literally, and Tarquin shows up and she decides to not marry Edgar. She and Tarquin get married and raise their daughter. In the epilogue, the child is eighteen months old.

I’d read on a few romance forums when this book came out that more than a few people didn’t like this at all. They didn’t like how greedy Diana was. She was willing to have sex with someone she didn’t know at all just to gain a fortune. I didn’t have a problem with that. What did bother me is that despite the fact that what Diana did was terrible, with her using Tarquin to get pregnant, she didn’t come across as greedy or nasty in any way. She did seem a bit cold and unemotional to me.

This is certainly no great love story but I did like it for the ‘adult’ content. The ‘c’ word that rhymes with rock was used a lot but that’s the only sexual slang that was used, much to my suprise. I did/do like the plotline with her trying to get pregnant without the heroes knowledge and marry someone else while pregnant but I feel as though more could have happened during the whole middle of the book. It really was just them having sex all the time from very early on. I didn’t think she’d not marry Edgar. I thought she’d marry him as planned, he’d die soon afterward and she’d then contact Tarquin and they’d get married and he’d inherit what should have been his in the first place but that didn’t happen.

Other books by Anna are:

  • Claiming the Courtesan 2007
  • Untouched 2007
  • Tempt the Devil 2009
  • Captive of Sin 2009
  • My Reckless Surrender 2010
  • The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance 2010


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