Monday, October 22, 2012

What an Earl Wants (The Redgraves #1) by Kasey Michaels

What an Earl Wants (The Redgraves, #1)
Gideon Redgrave, eldest child of the late Earl of Saltwood, refuses to be humbled by the scandal that once tore his family apart. He's built his life in London society around one rule: trust no one. So the last thing he wants is to play guardian and role model to a headstrong boy . . . or to engage in a battle of wills with the boy's spirited half sister, who is fighting Gideon for custody. 

Beautiful and bold, young widow Jessica Linden proves to be a formidable and passionate adversary. But the more they lock horns, the more Gideon realizes he'd prefer to have Jessica on his side . . . and in his arms. Especially now that a new threat—sprung from his father's supposedly defunct secret society—is poised to destroy the Redgraves once and for all.

What an Earl Wants was a lovely historical romance. Full of passionate romance and scintillating mystery, this romance is bound to thrill.

I loved how independent Jessica was. But I also liked that she new when she needed to swallow her pride and ask for some help. She held her own in the midst of a murder mystery of a horrifying scale. My one with her, and the entire book, was that she was kind of a shrew at first. She was really mean to Gideon. At first, it was understandable. But then, it got a little to ridiculous. That lasted about the first quarter of the book before Jessica warmed up to Gideon and decided to trust him. Then she was perfectly nice and likable. It was a minor problem, but it did irritate me a little. Otherwise, I found Jessica to be a strong, capable, kind character.

Gideon didn't have the best first impression. His first impression made him seem conceited, arrogant, and, quite frankly, unpleasant. But, withing a couple of chapters, he completely turned that around and charmed me thoroughly. His tendency to throw out sarcastic comments was hilarious and, when he wanted to, he could charm anyone until they were wrapped around his finger. His family's past isn't very pretty, but he doesn't let that get him down or allow himself to follow that unsavory precedent. And, when people's lives were in danger, he didn't hesitate to work toward taking the criminal down. Add to all this that he was magnificently handsome, and you have yourself a perfect hero. 

The relationship between Jessica and Gideon was a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. Though they definitely had sparks flying, they were also a very sweet, tender couple. It was a well done portrayal of romance that will please those who prefer either flavor.

Of course, we get an introduction to the rest of the Redgraves throughout the story. And they already have me charmed. I can't wait to see how things go for them.

The plot was a constant roller coaster. It starts out as a conflict between Jessica and Gideon over Jessica's brother (who is so ridiculous, it's hilarious), then becomes a high stakes game where you don't know who to trust. The sinister aspect let in by the Hellfire club was positively spine-chilling. The mystery had me in the dark right until the big reveal. Which was a huge shock. I was blown away when I found out who carried out all the murders. The ending was a nice, sweet closure that tied up all the loose strings.

What an Earl Wants is a fantastic romance. To any historical romance lovers, you'll want to check  this out.


Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for a copy!

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