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Monday, June 11, 2012

In The Barrister's Bed by Tina Gabrielle

In The Barrister's Bed by Tina Gabrielle
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (344 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A bastard by birth, James Devlin lives on his own terms—until a twist of fate reveals that he is the true Duke of Blackwood. Though the brooding bachelor swears to hold on to his freedom, he does intend to take back his childhood home. But once at Wyndmoor Manor, he discovers an arresting adversary in Bella Sinclair. Her hot-blooded claim to his home is amusing…and arousing. Which is why he isn’t leaving until he takes possession of everything—starting with the bewitching Bella…

A Sensual Surrender

Bella is furious when the Duke barges into her home, declaring it rightfully his! The willful widow is not about to give up her haven without a fight, no matter how determined the Duke is—or how sensual the battlefield. But once she’s sharing a house with the beguiling barrister, she is in danger of losing everything—one deep, slow kiss at a time…

Emotions run high when two people whose lives have experienced major upheavals end up at Wyndmoor Manor, each with a deed showing proof of ownership.

The widow Bella Sinclair fell in love with Wyndmoor Manor on sight. She feels safe there where tenant rents will make it possible for her to maintain the manor, live independently, and fulfill her long-denied desire to write social and political articles for publication. She and Harriet, her old companion, will no longer be subjected to threats and humiliations. At Wyndmoor Manor, they can live quietly and free while Bella uses her talents, makes her own decisions, and becomes her own person.

Before she even has time to unpack, along comes James Devlin, a successful barrister, who has already proven his ability to succeed by winning most of his court cases. However, he’s just had a dukedom dumped in his lap. Now he must prove himself in a totally new realm—not easy with his history. Wyndmoor Manor is the one place he’d felt he belonged in his troubled childhood, it feels like home.

James Devlin loves women and he loves a challenge. However, the alluring Bella, with her auburn hair, big green eyes, full lips, and voluptuous curves, gives him an run for his money Her determination, intelligence, and more than a little desperation make her a formidable opponent.

Bella treasures her new freedom as a widow. However, James Devlin’s seductive, gentle, enticing kiss ignites her body for the first time ever with a primal yearning. She responds instinctively without reserve leaving them both off-balance. She knows his motives are questionable but her body does not care. Bella is in new territory; her late-husband Roger’s kisses had always been cruel and demanding, nothing like the Barrister’s kiss.

James’ law partners arrive at Wyndmoor Manor and offer their views on the ownership struggle. Brent Stone mesmerizes Bella. He is like a flesh-and-blood Michelangelo creation, while Anthony Stevens has hard, cold eyes that make Bella feel like she needs to cross herself. The married partner Jack Harding and his wife Evie show Bella a totally different kind of marriage than she had known with Roger. Moreover, she and Evie seem to be kindred spirits.

Other secondary characters that impact their lives are James’ dowager grandmother whose main focus in life is being among the elite in the Ton; his half brother Gregory, a drunken wastrel, gambler, and opium addict; Bella’s late husband’s twin, Rupert who had been Roger’s partner in illegal business that had been left unfinished due to Roger’s untimely death. With these characters, two of the deadly sins—greed and jealousy—rear their ugly heads and put the struggle for who owns Wyndmoor Manor on the back burner.

James’ motives shift as he tries to protect Bella. She is unsure what to think of this. Nobody had ever been concerned for her safety before. Bella soon becomes James’ protector when he is wounded. Life becomes more precious. Their hot, breathtaking lovemaking sends the story spiraling up to ecstasy—ah!

Tina Gabrielle’s eloquent writing style lures the reader in with well-developed characters; conflicts, some humorous and others that are spine-tingling; back stories that intrigue, and vivid descriptions of settings that give one a sense of time and place that assails the senses. She subtly plants that seed of love and nurtures it through all the hero and heroine’s hang-ups and hurts; through life-threatening, nail-biting conflicts and tends it through the tender sprouting stage of love to the sensual, sizzling love that brings them to their happy-ever-after.

In The Barrister's Bed is a tantalizing tale.