New York Times best-selling author Liz Carlyle has created a breathtaking new romance about a man without scruples and the lady who brings him to his knees.
What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects? She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses.
Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London's most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering...and more.
But when Edward's memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.
©2013 Susan Woodhouse (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
"Not So Wicked...Just Gone a bit Astray."
This regency romance has an interesting storyline and characters. The romance is simple, sweet and although a bit predictable it is still enjoyable.
Edward (Ned) is a very handsome debonair "wicked" businessman. He is a man of circumstance as his upbringing lead him to his wicked ways. Kate is plain, reliable, and very practical but still possesses great wit and charm. The author, Liz Carlyle, allows this romance to evolve in an unrushed believable manner. I appreciate the fact that she writes characters with flaws because this gives her stories a more realistic edge. .
If you enjoy "opposites attract" romances with sweet and tender love scenes you will probably like this one. it's a nice simple "rainy day' read. .
"Great wicked fun!"
Fantastic story! Great narrator! Loved this book! The narrator made the characters come to life!
When Kate was touching Edward's face and he suddenly woke up and grabbed her wrist.
The narrator's range of voices really made the characters come to life.
When Kate confronted Edward about Annabel. Edward seemed so hurt
I enjoyed this book immensely.
"Wonderful of course!"
The narrator was excellent, the characters well developed, the dialogue and story clever and the passion and romance well done! Thanks for a great listen to a wonderful book!
"Back to basics...and I love it!"
I've been a Liz Carlyle fan for nearly 15 years. And we're talking the kind of fan who has had to replace copies of her paperbacks because the spines have fallen apart from overuse. I fell in love with her work because, in addition to creating complex, suspenseful, believable, steamy hystorical romances that always have a healthy dollop of mystery, Carlyle's characters were unforgettable and her dialogue was clever. However, for the past few years, as she has spun out the tales of the Fraternitas Aurea Crucis, I have found myself picking up each new installment with a sigh, and the hope that I would once again feel the old magic. If anything, the plots were so complex that they detracted from the story, and the characters felt increasingly difficult to relate to, steped as they were in mysterious powers and/or resentment, rage, fear and a host of other emotions so negative that in my opinion they detracted from the enjoyability of the books.
And then came A Wicked Man. Since Ned Quartermaine's backstory is tangentially related to the stories of the Fraternitas Crucis, I put off reading this book, afraid I would find another well-written but difficult to love disappointment. Instead, I was delighted to discover a likable, intelligent, witty heroine who is easy to relate to and someone I might actually want to know in real life. Add to that a disreputable but still honorable, lonely man who is terribly easy to fall in love with and a skillfully drawn cast of supporting characters who help bring each scene vividly to life, this story was easy to enjoy, and will be fun to re-read. It's a simple tale--there is very little in the way of mystery, although there are a few clever twists that showcase the author's talent for plot development. If you're in the mood for a complex, thrilling murder mystery, this isn't the Carlyle for you, but if you want a warm, almost sweett--but undeniably still sexy!--novel, this is a great read.
A note about the narrator: Overall, I enjoyed Carrolyn Morris' reading. It was well-paced, and she differentiated the voices well. She also did a great job with the erotic content, which not every reader can pull off. My one complaint: She mispronounced several words! If this sort of thing doesn't bother you, then I appologize if I sound like I'm nitpicking. However, if you're a stickler like me, be warned!
"Great story. Great Narration!"
What a great story. I really enjoyed this story line, the characters and the character development. The hero, Edward/Ned Quartermaine was just fantastic, even when he didn't know he was a ruthless rogue. The heroine, Kate, was smart, witty, and very strong. I particularly liked that SHE was a baroness, her own title. The chemistry and sexual tension was great, not forced, The sex scenes very well written.
There was lots of great dialogue throughout the entire book. All the secondary characters fun and memorable. The whole story flowed very well and easy to follow.
The narration was perfect! I absolutely love Carolyn Morris, the men sound like men and the hero always sounds like a sexy man! All the characters have their own distinct voice, you know who is speaking. And her reading voice is just lovely, and she puts the perfect amount of emotion, ie, yelling, whispering, angry, happy etc.. I could listen to her narrate every book!
"A horse of a different color."
This is a book that changed direction on me, turning from a potential deeply sexy romance, into a light and fluffy HR souffle/comedy of manners when I least expected it. (Of course, sometimes a souffle is just what we want, so if you know that going in, you may enjoy it more than I did!)
Lord Edward Quartermaine owns a gaming hell, and is a bad man. He had a terrible trauma as a child and was abandoned by his family, and it made him rather hard. He’s just acquired some property out in the country from a gaming debt, and he’s on his way to look it over, when there’s an accident that causes him to lose his memory.
Lady Kate d'Allenay has also had it rough. A spinster who was secretly ruined and then abandoned by her betrothed, she has no intention of ever marrying any man. Why should she? The Earl’s ancient title has passed to her as the oldest living d’Allenay, and she runs the estate with aplomb.
When these two meet, the sparks fly, and a jaded man and a confirmed spinster, begin to feel stirrings they thought long dead. As he recovers from his injuries, but not his memory loss, he finds he cannot keep his hands off of his lovely hostess, and the lustful feelings are very mutual. There is a nicely paced build up of believable sexual tension, as they chase each other around the house. I loved it! I expected dramatic revelations! A clash of wills! A love for all time!!!
And then there is the introduction of several interesting characters who arrive at the estate for a house party, and the book became something else: A comedy of sorts. This change frustrated the sexual tension, and popped it like a balloon. Now we have a plot where our two lovers, instead of being into each other, are constantly chasing around trying to solve other people’s problems, instead of pursuing their own love affair.
I didn’t love it.
As it is, the writing is snappy, the characters mostly original, and the potential for a Great book was definitely there, though lost. The author’s attempt to reconstitute the romance resulted instead in overly melodramatic dialogue (meant to be romantic? “Oh, Kate, love.”), and a predictably threatening villein (that no one felt threatened by) for dramatic effect. The nearly wacky "Perils of Pauline" scenes that ensued near the end had my eyes rolling a bit, and several times I debated whether or not to just turn it off and chalk it up to experience.
But I'm stubborn.
I do recommend this book, but only if you need a break from more tension-filled plots, and just want to read something romantic and light. Just don’t let the beginning of the book get your hopes up for more.
(And beware the happy endings. Many, many happy endings.)
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