Author: Lisa Kleypas
Pages: 375 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: January 1, 2001
She was unmarried, untouched and almost thirty, but novelist Amanda Briars wasn't about to greet her next birthday without making love to a man. When he appeared at her door, she believed he was her gift to herself, hired for one night of passion. Unforgettably handsome, irresistibly virile, he tempted her in ways she never thought possible, but something stopped him from completely fulfilling her dream.
Jack Devlin's determination to possess Amanda became greater when she discovered his true identity. But gently bred Amanda craved respectability more than she admitted, while Jack, the cast-off son of a nobleman and London's most notorious businessman, refused to live by society's rules. Yet when fate conspired for them to marry, their worlds collided with a passionate force neither had expected. . . but both soon craved.
Amanda Briars is a successful novelist, proper lady, and a virgin. So for her 30th birthday, she gets herself the ultimate gift: a sexy Irishman to take her virginity! However, before the deed can take place, she changes her mind, but Jack assures her that that won't be the last she sees of him. True his word, they meet at a dinner for people in the writing industry and Amanda discovers that he's not who she thought he was. From this point on we get to watch Amanda try not to fall under Jack's charms, while it's completely obvious that he's crazy about her. He enjoys her work, appreciates her independent mind, and loves her curves!
The story jumps right in in Chapter 1, but then slows down quite a bit. But the slowness felt natural. We got to know Amanda and Jack better while they got to know each other. Once their affair begins it's definitely worth the slow pacing. That is one steamy romance! Jack is hot and encourages Amanda to try everything! We don't get to read about them doing everything, but the implication is sexy enough. There are a couple of scenes that are a bit kinkier than I was expecting!
There is a very predictable twist that is obvious from the beginning, but it fit the story and didn't feel forced. Their romance needed a conflict and this one didn't come out of nowhere. It was realistic, but I still found myself irritated with Amanda for some of her decisions. Although her decision was rightfully based on what we know about Jack, I just wanted them to be together! Of course, they get their happy ending eventually, but it wasn't easy to come by.
Jack and Amanda are a great couple, and I love how they challenged the rules of London society. Their journey from business associates to lovers was sweet and extremely sexy, and I couldn't get enough of them (especially Jack)! The ending felt a bit rushed after the slowness of the middle, but I think it was very fitting to the story.
"Fortunately I have found that it is far more entertaining to be married to a scoundrel than a gentleman."