passion rating: hot
Dear Ms. Kendall,
It was a foregone conclusion I’d read An Heir of Deception, your latest entry into The Elusive Lords series. I’ve read the first two and novella and while neither the second book nor the novella rocked my socks like your second novel A Taste of Desire, I’ve had fun reading them all. The heroes are gorgeous, dominant males with more self-confidence than Tony Stark, and are golden gods in bed. The women who love them are beautiful, smart mouthed, and able to orgasm on a single thrust. The course of their loves never runs smooth, the sex is always magnificent, and the happy endings plausible. I liked An Heir of Deception—although the protagonists Charlotte and Alex aren’t quite as sizzling as Amelia and Thomas (the leads in A Taste of Desire—I needed a fan while I read that book!)—and found it a good addition to the series.
Charlotte Rutherford has loved Alex Hastings from the moment she first saw him, when she was sixteen and he was twenty-six. He resisted her charms for years until, finally, when she turned eighteen, he seduced her, and fell as deeply in love with her as she was with him. The two were to be married at St. Paul’s Cathedral in a lavish ceremony but, as Alex arrived at the church, Charlotte was nowhere to be found. Her brother James, Alex’s best friend, told him Charlotte fled, leaving James a note:
“She wrote to beg my forgiveness for any scandal or shame her actions may bring upon the family but…says she can’t marry you.”
Alex is wrecked, ruined, destroyed, and hung up to dry when Charlotte leaves. He spends the next three years of his life a step away from total self-destruction. He knows, from a letter she sent him and from what he hears from her family, she’s settled in America. It’s only a near death experience—he fell into the Thames while soused and caught a near-killing fever—that knocks some sanity into him. He quits drinking, devotes himself to his estates, and vows to never let anyone near his heart again.
Then, at the beginning of An Heir of Deception, five years after she left him brideless at St. Paul’s, Charlotte returns… and she’s not alone. With her is her son, Nicholas, whom Alex takes one look at and knows without a doubt the child is his. (Nicholas apparently is the spitting image of Alex’s deceased older brother Charles.) Alex is consumed with rage. He can barely contain his anger at Charlotte—not only did she destroy his life, she stole his son’s early years from him. He vows to punish her and to claim Nicholas as his own.
Charlotte returned only because she was told, erroneously, her twin sister, Catherine, was on the brink of death. Charlotte is shocked to learn not only is Catherine in the pink, but Alex now lives in the manor next door and, the very day Charlotte arrives, is in the house picking up some papers for James. Charlotte can barely breathe when she sees Alex again.
Charlotte stood frozen, ensnared as deftly and completely as a rabbit in the presence of a rattler preparing to strike. She watched as he proceeded down the seemingly endless corridor toward her.Senses starved for the flesh-and-blood man greedily tried to take him in all at once, hoarding away every minute detail to take back with her to feed the lonely nights when dreams and memories were all she’d have…and yet still not enough.Save the measured fall of his footsteps, silence reigned with a parasitic presence that made speech a novelty and breathing a luxury. Charlotte could do nothing but wait in statue-like stillness while her heart picked up its pace. To even blink would have created too much noise.
Charlotte still pines for Alex like Buttercup pined for Wesley, but, when he actually appears, she’s completely unprepared for him to instantly see though her “it’s some other guy’s kid” tale. Realizing she has to come to some sort of terms with Alex over Nicholas, she seeks Alex out–he’s ignoring her–and tries to tell him why she abandoned him at the altar. Alex tells her he couldn’t give a damn about her or her reasons—he wants his kid and nothing more from her.
click here to read the rest of the reviewHe’d let his heart and body rule him when he’d courted her, made love to her, gotten on his knee and asked her to marry him. He wouldn’t ever be that naïve again. In all his future dealings with Charlotte Rutherford, they would play by his rules and currently the only thing he wanted from her was his son.