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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monogamy Twist by Nancy Jardine

Monogamy Twist by Nancy Jardine
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (267 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Luke Salieri thought he'd seen everything. But when he inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of—and with quirky conditions besides—it’s a mystery he wants resolved immediately. There must be a woman out there who can meet his needs. But how far will he have to go to persuade her?

Lucrative employment for a whole year? The job of researching the old house and its fantastic contents is enticing – but Rhia Ashton can’t see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri and not wanting his body as well. Can she live and sleep with him for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

I loved the idea of a powerful man forced to marry a woman because someone manipulated him behind his back. I enjoyed the fact that a supposed amiable and easily led woman turned the tables and made the man face what is important in life. And it’s not the pursuit of money and power.

Monogamy Twist has at its core, a wonderful romance that grows from a practical base. The hero treats it like a business deal and the heroine treats it like an adventure and a challenge. What they both don’t expect is that their personalities mesh, her sense of humor and his inner torment balance each other out. They both heal, they both find love and they both are stunned that a dead woman could have such a profound impact on their lives. The charm of the story is their journey and they go from perfect strangers in lust to friends and partners in love.

Rhia is the heroine and the owner of Thor, the dog. She’s spunky, intrepid and I enjoyed her ability to rise to a challenge and not get bogged down with emotional angst and typical female hissy fits when it comes to jealousy and backstabbing ex-girlfriends. She’s pragmatic at best and equally lusty for her neighbor.

The focus of the heroine’s adoration and exasperation is Luke. He’s a tortured hero who had a loveless childhood and is a bit dysfunctional when it comes to relationships. He dates the kind of women he knows but falls in love with the kind of woman he needs. Not that he admits that right away. He was so mixed-up, he didn’t recognize the feeling for what it was.

The story is strong and the romance is a delight. The issues that knock down the rating for this book are varied. There is head hopping, strange word/phrase use, a few five dollar words like, ‘salubrious’, a hero who wails his complaint, emotional bouncing not in keeping with the character’s voice or scene, over the top embellishment - case in point, how Luke’s father died – and a lot of narrative where it came across not as a character’s point of view but the author filling me in on the details. The revelation about Luke’s mother made me laugh; the use of Danielle had me rolling my eyes, and after awhile the author forgot all about Thor. I didn’t. Amazingly enough, despite all of the above listed, the author created likeable characters in Luke and Rhia which kept me invested to finding out how they would eventually have their happily ever after. And even though there were some odd mixtures of phrases, their dialogue was often funny and entertaining.

Monogamy Twistis a cute story. It’s lighthearted, enjoyable and Luke and Rhia made a terrific couple. I’m glad I got a chance to read this book because it was a fun way to pass the time.