Tall, Dark and Disreputable by Deb Marlowe
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (288 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla
She must make a deal with the devil himself!
Portia Tofton has always yearned for brooding Mateo Cardea. His dark good-looks filled her girlish dreams--dreams that were cruelly shattered when Mateo rejected her hand in marriage.
Now Portia's home has been gambled away, and Mateo is the only man she can turn to. This time, however, she has in her possession something he wants--and she finds herself striking a deal with the devil himself.
Mateo Cardea has just lost his father and, after the reading of the will, he’s also lost control of the family’s shipping business to his childhood friend, Portia. Portia Tofton has also just had a loss – her husband – and might possibly be losing her beloved home as well. Only by working together can they achieve what they’re after and eventually find so much more, too.
Portia is an interesting woman. Growing up, she was constantly pushed to the side and made to feel inferior and insignificant by both her father and her brothers. Mateo was the only one who ever took her seriously. After suffering through a miserable marriage to a man not much different than her male relations, Portia comes to learn there’s a whole lot more to her than she’d been led to believe. I really enjoyed the way she pushed herself out of her comfort zone, just a little at a time, and put herself out there for the world to see. Her ability to be a proper lady one moment and completely wanton the next was a refreshing change of pace.
Mateo is my kind of guy. He’s tall, dark, handsome and a free spirit. His life is on the water and that’s exactly where you’ll find him. But when the time comes to help an old friend, he doesn’t hesitate to dive right in and give it all he’s got to see it through. No matter how badly he wanted to be back in charge of Cardea Shipping and back out on his ship, Portia’s problems came first. It was this caring and consideration towards her that really endeared him to me, even with their rocky start in the beginning. His complete reversal in thinking gives hope that not all men back in that era were as hard-headed as they’re often portrayed.
Tall, Dark and Disreputable is a funny and charming story of two friends finding each other again in the most desperate of times and discovering that there's more than they had hoped for waiting in the other. Portia and Mateo’s story is full of adventure, dubious characters, and an attraction that just might singe your fingers if you’re not careful. I highly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to anyone looking for a historical romance with layers of story and intrigue built into it.