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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Little Mischief by Amelia Grey

A Little Mischief by Amelia Grey
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical (Regency)
Length: Full Length (295 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

How can a lady avoid a scandal...

Just as Miss Isabella Winslowe is finally achieving comfortable respectability, the fascinating and decidedly unrespectable Earl of Colebrooke inconveniently appears...

When a gentleman is so determined to flirt...

The darkly handsome Daniel Colebrooke is intrigued and alarmed when an alluring young lady arrives at his door in need of assistance. In a moment of impetuosity, Daniel decides he must keep a close watch on Isabella, and what better way than to strike up a not–so–innocent fliration...

Together they'll cook up more than a little mischief when a disappearing dead body and a lascivious scandal spins their reckless game entirely out of control.

Ah, mystery, murder, men shy of marriage, mercenaries, and a merry mischief-maker all mixed together. The ton is titillated and the gossip grows.

Daniel Fletcher Coldbrooke, The Seventh Earl of Coldbrooke needs a wife.  He doesn’t really want a wife, but needs one. As a second son, he’d been a gentleman rogue until tragedy struck his family. Now he needs respectability and an heir. Of course, he wants a submissive, obedient wife. It would be nice if he loved her, but that’s not a deal-breaker. He's dedicated to getting himself and his sister Gretchen married in one Season.

As we know, the best laid plan can go astray. With the help of one unconventional mischief-maker, his plan is set on its ear, or so it seems. This is a Regency romp to enjoy.

Isabella Winslowe, pretty much abandoned by her father and left in the care of a spinster aunt, has respectability and acceptance in the ton, but her plan is to live independently like her aunt as soon as she's old enough to come into her inheritance. Obedient and submissive are not in her vocabulary much less in her personality. She’s intelligent, compassionate, adventurous, and determined—far too outspoken.

Her first encounter with the earl of Coldbrooke sets her on edge. He's condescending, arrogant, judgmental and about as approachable as a wild boar. But he is so impressive, intriguing and powerful. He makes her heart race. Isabella and Daniel, thrown together to help save his sister Gretchen’s reputation and solve a mysterious murder, strike sparks off each other and ignite a slow burn that Daniel has a hard time controlling. While in cahoots and going on clandestine ventures, Daniel finds keeping his hands off her is as much of a challenge as solving the murder is.

The secondary characters add tension and intrigue. While Society Rules create worrisome times for anyone who doesn’t conform—which Daniel and Isabella can’t seem to do. My goodness, some of the chances they take are risky and so exciting.

Amelia Grey has a fantastic way of bringing characters to life. They pulsate with emotions and sparkle with humor while threading their way through the minefields of Society Rules to assuage out-of-control cravings and still stay ‘respectable’. She never allows the story to lag and she sprinkles in clues and a few red herrings throughout to keep the reader guessing. However, she keeps the reader turning pages with the steadily growing love story that enchants. A Little Mischief is playful and seductive with a touch of sad and serious, Most of all, it is uplifting, a Regency romance that leaves the reader feeling good. All has come right for the hero and heroine and for some other nice people, too. This one is a sparkling happy-ever-after.