Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick by Deb Marlowe
Length: Full Length (283 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea
Adopting the guise of a buttoned-up spinster is nothing new for Chloe Hardwick. But under the watchful eye of her unnervingly handsome employer, the Marquess of Marland, for the first time Chloe yearns to be unbuttoned! Yet he sees her only as his assistant, the efficient Hardwick—not as Chloe the woman.
Determined to escape Braedon's cold detachment, Chloe leaves. And when he pursues her to London, determined to entice her back, Braedon is utterly unprepared for what he finds there—the real Chloe Hardwick .
Yanking off the buttons was never this exciting or sexy.
I'm still new to historical romance and wasn't much of a fan. I've since changed my stance on historicals. Why? Because I read Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick. Ms. Marlowe's words flow from the page. I felt like I was right there rushing down the road in the phaeton, feeling the wind whipping my hair. I could see the characters well and am looking for my own Braedon. Goodness, he is yummy.
There are many layers to this novel. Peeling them back was a lot of fun. Chloe is very complicated. Once her back story comes to the forefront, I was able to fully respect her. I loved the line about her buttons and what happens to them. I'll leave it at that because it's a great little surprise. Braedon, as sexy as he was, drove me berserk more than a few times. I understood his motivations well. Ms. Marlowe does a great job of layering him. But what irritated me about him was how he held back. Like I said, I understood it and liked how his back story was unfolded. Getting irritated with him was a good thing because it got me thinking about him long after the book closed. That doesn't happen often, so I chalk it up to Ms. Marlowe's excellent story telling.
My favorite character was the boy. I won't go into much detail about him, but I liked the way he was worked into the story and how he played a part in the ending. Very nice.
The sensuality was the right amount. Enough was left to the imagination that I could picture what happened and fill in the blanks the way I wanted. Loved it.
If you want a romance that's heavy on suspense, emotion and filled with characters you won't forget, then this book is for you.