Monday, February 6, 2012

Review: Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

Frail-looking Olivia Donovan has been treated with care and delicacy since the bout with malaria that weakened her and killed her father.  She has given up hope of ever having a marriage or children, content to be a happy spinster aunt to her sisters' children.   Of course, she meets Max, who has decided he never wants to marry either.   The two embark on "adventures" together and soon become lovers.  Unfortunately, Max's bet with the Marquis of Fenwicke comes to light,  putting a cloud over the genuine feelings of love he and Olivia share.   When Olivia's life is placed in danger, Max is able to save her, and the two reunite in true romantic fashion. 

I wanted to like Secrets of an Accidental Duchess much more than I actually did, simply because I'm such a fan of Ms. Haymore's previous series.  So while I've been disappointed in this series thus far, I am going to hold out hope for Pleasures of a Tempted Lady.  

(A very special thank you to Forever Romance, Hachette Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Secrets of an Accidental Duchess.)

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