Summary: A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust hi
m with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable…the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
I was very excited to pick up my copy of Marrying Winterborne because Lisa Kleypas was one of the first romance writers that I read when I first got into the genre a few years ago. I also enjoyed, Cold-Hearted Rake, the first book in the series, so I couldn’t wait to keep going with the Ravenel sisters. Read more »
Summary: Having made a fortune, Thorn Dautry, the powerful bastard son of a duke, decides that he needs a wife. But to marry a lady, Thorn must acquire a gleaming, civilized façade, the specialty of Lady Xenobia India.
Exquisite, head-strong, and independent, India vows to make Thorn marriageable in just three weeks.
But neither Thorn nor India anticipate the forbidden passion that explodes between them.
Thorn will stop at nothing to make India his. Failure is not an option.
But there is only one thing that will make India his—the one thing Thorn can’t afford to lose…
His fierce and lawless heart.
Heroine: India is definitely a memorable heroine. For starters, she’s an interior designer, a very uncommon career path of the time. Left without a dowry after her parents’ untimely death, India established her career and made her own fortune. She’s a self-made woman, but she’s aware that she isn’t perfect and has a lot more to learn.
Summary: To win her love…
As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her.
He must free her from her tower…
“Edie” had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie’s only true passion is playing music—until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.
Heroine: Edie will be quite a memorable heroine to me because of her passion for music. I love that her marriage did not do anything to alter that. She doesn’t give up her love of music to run a household. I also loved how the story revolved around her insecurities in the bedroom. I think that this is very realistic, as opposed to other romance novels who kind of sugar coat one’s first time. This is one of the rare occasions in romance where the long awaited event goes horribly wrong.
Hero: One of my favorite parts of the novel is the fact that Gowan isn’t your stereotypical romance hero. Unlike most romance heroes, it turns out that he’s only 22 (a few years older than the heroine, as opposed to a decade or two) and that he’s inexperienced. He reminds me a lot of Jamie Fraser from Outlander, which is a huge plus. Also, Gowan isn’t a tortured hero, which is so refreshing. His problems are a lot more realistic.
Supporting Cast: It’s not that often that I find secondary characters that intriguing, but I really enjoyed the subplot that revolved around Edie’s father and her stepmother. Lord and Lady Gilchrist’s subplot provides another look at problems that one might encounter in a marriage – which complements nicely to Edie and Gowan’s story. At the beginning, I even found myself more interested in the subplot rather than the main story. I’m glad that Lady Gilchrist plays a big role in the novel.
Plot: I enjoyed the fact that Once Upon a Tower is loosely based on both Romeo and Juliet and Rapunzel. The storyline didn’t mimic either stories, but instead, parts of their stories inspired scenes in Once Upon a Tower. Instead of a kind of predictable retelling, the plot was kept a lot more interesting.
Romance: For a lot of the book, there was no “wooing” that needed to be done. Once Upon a Tower is about the romance of a young, newly wedded couple who have to overcome a lot of communication and intimacy issues very early on into their marriage. They do fall in love fast, but they certainly have chemistry. The romance is believable and I found myself rooting for their happily ever after.
Love Potion Strength:
– Exceeds Expectations
I can’t believe I waited this long to start this series – even if I didn’t start at the beginning. I am definitely getting my hands on the rest of the series as soon as possible!