Tuesday, December 07, 2010
A Perfect 10:
A Perfect 10
Yorkshire, England, 1823
Upon headlining the ladies' journal, Pearls and Pelisses' list of “lords to land,” antiquities expert, Lord Nicholas St. John, younger twin to the Marquess of Ralston, is eager to be anywhere but London. His opportunity for escape presents with the Duke of Leighton's quest to find his younger sister, who has mysteriously disappeared.
Nicholas accepts the mission, keen to renew the tracking skills he acquired years ago on behalf of the British government, and the former hunter-cum-hunted, high-tails it out of London . The trail, however, ends in a remote North Yorkshire village, where he, by accident (literally speaking, as in saving her from death by a runaway horse cart), encounters Lady Isabel Townsend.
The lovely, lonely Isabel is the eldest child of the recently deceased Lord Townsend, disparagingly referred to as “The Wastrearl” (Very clever play on words Ms. MacLean!). The earl has left both his elder daughter and ten-year-old heir near destitute, with the exception of Isabel's collection of marble statues. Discovering the identity of her rescuer, Lady Isabel asks Lord Nicholas to appraise and help her to sell the marbles. Her intent is not only to shore up her younger brother's estate, but also to continue supporting her secret mission of helping young women in need.
Isabel is extremely protective of her secrets, as well as those of whom she shelters. She is immediately attracted to Lord Nicholas, but his curious nature might well jeopardize what has become Isabel's personal mission in life. Gaining her confidence is Lord Nicholas's greatest challenge, while learning to trust is the greatest obstacle to Isabel's own happiness.
When I previously read Ms. MacLean's debut, NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE, I found it a charming and captivating debut, but the author has outdone herself with her follow up, TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED. The story is inventive, the dialogue delectable, and the hero and heroine sizzle off the page. I would have to give this one a Perfect 10.
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