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Friday, August 12, 2011

Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas

Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (386 pgs)
Heat Level hot
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

What is the price of love?

Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his mission will be easily accomplished -- but that was before he met the lady in question.

For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition -- one he has never offered before.

He asks her to be his bride.

And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know -- that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London's most notorious lover might claim Charlotte's body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.

This book has a swoon-worthy romance, a wonderfully tortured hero, and a heroine with the strength to heal him while standing firm against her own demons. It’s a delightfully engaging story that kept me riveted and on the edge of my seat.

Even readers who don’t usually read historical romances will find a multitude of reasons to enjoy themselves. There’s not a lot of stuffy language and the dialogue is easy to relate to. Nick’s reasons for being the bedeviled soul that he is are heartbreaking and tragic. Lottie’s reasons for running are typical but her perseverance and cleverness isn’t. She’d rather die than face what her parents have in store for her. She’s like a willow, she’ll bend but won’t break and that holds her in good stead throughout this tale.

Ms. Kleypas has a way of reaching a reader’s emotions and bringing her characters to life. She sets up the hero’s point of view with a unique and interesting opening sequence. I enjoyed the brief wisdom from Gemma and how it plays out later in the book. In fact, it’s what makes this story so hot and passionate. The legacy of that temporary character brought many moments of enjoyable lovemaking and scenes that I wanted to read again and again. Not because of what Nick and Lottie do, but the sentiments behind them, and the feelings that drove the hero and heroine are what made them memorable. Not to mention their coming together in all those unique places and positions, and those seductive whisperings that tantalized my imagination. From innocence to loving debauchery, all was well done and it mattered to the plot. And because Ms. Kleypas wrote such endearing characters, I cared whether or not they found happiness.

The villain generated a couple of different feelings from me. As first, I feared his power, not unlike Lottie. But towards the end, I felt pity. He was a man who truly didn’t know what love was. He was a twisted and manipulative person with some serious mental issues that prevented him from being the man he could have been. Being a peer and rich couldn’t buy happiness. I actually felt sad for him. On the other hand, Lottie’s parents were whacked. I think they were worse and should have the villainous label attached to their behavior. How dare they! And their reactions to Nick’s offers made me fear for the rest of Lottie’s siblings. When her father finally opened up his mouth, I rolled my eyes. Too little, too late. Thank goodness she had Nick.

Other secondary characters were important. Sophia, Nick’s sister, and her husband Sir Ross were instrumental in moving the plot along. So too was Sir Grant. In fact, some of the more amusing and adorable scenes and dialogue occur with them interacting with the hero and heroine.

There is light drama and action and a bit of suspense to keep a reader flipping the pages. The burgeoning romance between Nick and Lottie was sweet in its tentative steps but when they finally got over the initial hurdles, the author allowed a reader to explore Nick’s emotional depths and needs. I even liked the part when he tied up Lottie and introduced her to his other kind of desires. It certainly made an impact and was one more good reason to not put the book down until the end. The epilogue showed Sir Ross in a different light during his dialogue with Nick. It was cute and when Nick realized exactly what Sir Ross meant, it was really funny.

Worth Any Price is easy to read and hard to put down. It provided excitement, laughter, a hero and heroine that touched my heart, and a masterfully written story that engaged all my senses. I enjoyed this book so much, that I’m very interested in finding out about Sir Ross’ story.

There something about Ms. Kleypas’ writing that calls to me and reaches me where most historical romances don’t. It’s truly a wonderful skill when an author can make a reader not only look forward to what comes next, but to wonder about all that came before. Reading Worth Any Price was time well spent.