Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Perfect 10: HOW TO TAME A MODERN ROGUE by Diana Holquist

A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-0-446-19705-2
August 2009
Contemporary Romance

New York City, New York – Present Day

Sam Carson is walking out of Central Park, almost to his building, when he sees his ex, Veronica, talking to the doorman. She knew right from the start he was not into anything permanent, but trying to persuade her that he isn’t interested any more is so exhausting and time consuming. Then something saves him from a confrontation he wants to avoid; a horse and carriage come down the street, and the old lady inside talks to him asking why a marquis is walking. Sam says no way, he is a duke, Duke Whatthehell, and she asks him to join her in the carriage and go meet her granddaughter. Anything in a pinch, and Sam is thrown back into the old lady's dream of being back in 1812 London, England.

Ally Giordano is so excited to be moving from New York to San Francisco and start teaching in a totally new environment. But then Granny Donny comes over in a horse and carriage and thinks she is bringing a duke to wed her. Ally is confused, until her roommate says this sounds suspiciously like one of the historical romances she and Granny Donny like to read, especially “The Dulcet Duke,” a particular favorite of theirs. And who is Granny’s duke, and where did she pick up this man who has “trouble” written all over his buff body? Granny Donny is Ally’s only relative; what could have happened to her, and what can she do to save the new life she is about to start in San Francisco if Granny needs help?

The doctor says Granny Donny appears to have had a stroke, and he's not sure whether she will ever get her real self back. But when Granny wants to go to her summer house in the country, Ally thinks maybe a trip to the ocean will bring Granny back to herself before the end of the summer. But Granny loves the duke and wants him to go with them on their journey; real ladies don’t go on trips without a gentleman to protect them. Perhaps after they get the horse and driver, Paula and Mateo, to drive them through Brooklyn and over the bridge to the summer house, Granny Donny just might return to the right century. Ally is attracted to Sam, but knows he is a rogue, a charming man who easily replaces women in his life and would cause her to take a risk in life she has always protected herself from. When Ally was fourteen, her parents left her, her mother to follow her husband and his gambling, and Granny Donny has been there for her ever since. In her heart of hearts, Ally still believes some day her mother and father will come back and tell her they love her.

Sam came to America from England, and after what happened, he has lived for himself; women come and go, there is nothing permanent in his life, and he likes it that way. But good grief, Ally starts him questioning his life and why everything seems better with her around. While Ally doesn’t mind being with him by pretending he is the Duke and she is the English maiden he is trying to seduce, she cannot relate to him as a real man. But soon Sam wants Ally to trust his feelings for her and not treat him as he used to be, selfish and looking after only himself. Sam loves soccer, and this will play an important part when he suspects Mateo, the carriage driver, is someone other than he pretends to be.

Diana Holquist has written a story that is absolutely enthralling and fresh and combines two things I love, hot romance and historical romance. Ms. Holquist has hit everything perfectly: plot, characters, situations, and the chemistry between Sam and Ally and why each is so scared to commit to anyone. Written from Ally's and Sam’s points of view, the juxtaposition of history and present day is perfectly integrated, and I can’t imagine a more perfectly written story.

Secondary characters gather more importance as the tale goes on. Granny Donny is, of course, the most important, stuck in old London, and taking everyone along with her in her perfect fantasy life. Paula and Mateo, the horse and driver, grow before our eyes and bring something special to the story. June is Ally’s roommate, a professional dancer with a fiancé. June gives advice to Ally and encourages her to take a chance on life and a man she thinks is not trustworthy.

HOW TO TAME A MODERN ROGUE is a unique and exceptional story that I loved. You will empathize with Ally and Sam as they carefully connect with each other, and come to love Granny Donny as she is entering the sunset of her years. This is such an irresistible story I must give it a Perfect 10 and urge you to rush out now and find HOW TO TAME A MODERN ROGUE before they're all gone.

Carolyn Crisher


Chris said...

I loved this one, too!

penney said...

Thanks for the review I am going to get this one