Lord Lightning By Jenny Brown
384 Pages Avon Romance Oct 2010
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
They call him "Lord Lightning". . .
For his shocking behavior. An unrepentant rogue with a wicked reputation, his outrageous conduct ensures no woman will get close enough to hurt him.
But demure and lovely astrologer Eliza Farrell casts a chart that tells her Lord Hartwood is capable of great, passionate love. When Hartwood indulges in one of his famous pranks and invites Eliza to become his new mistress, the virginal country miss must meet her fate armed only with her knowledge that the cynical lord will become the tender lover she sees predicted in the stars.
Though Eliza is nothing like the brazen strumpets he prefers, the seemingly incorruptible seer excites Lord Lightning much more than the hard, calculating women he is accustomed to. Eliza's trusting spirit and quick mind touch his cold heart—and when the bewitching innocent surprisingly agrees to be seen on his arm, neither can predict the sparks that will fly between them . . . or resist the electric passion that will threaten to transform them both.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SOME SPOILERS MENTIONED
(This review also is in the October issue of The Season)
Debut author Jenny Brown has conjured up a thoroughly entertaining tale of seduction, astrology and love
Eliza Farrell, one step from living in the streets thanks to her gambling father who himself is a few steps from debtor's prison, makes her living doing astrology charts for well paying customers, usually women of questionable reputation. When she is called in to do Violet, an actress's chart, and that of her current paramour, Lord Hartwood, little does she know that the man in question, a disreputable rake called 'Lord Lightning' is outside the door listening
She begins to expound on his deep capacity for love, and the need to be loved. Violet snorts her disbelief. As does Lord Lightning. He sweeps into the room, and Violet, not liking what she hears from Eliza, breaks with Edward Neville, Lord Hartwood. Edward is livid, and when he sees the seeress outside, he abducts her, with every intention of making her his mistress, or at least, giving her a fright in payment for his loss of a mistress. He wanted a mistress to accompany him to claim his inheritance. Eliza will do in a pinch, even though he finds her unattractive.
To his shock, she agrees, for 45 pounds and to have her collection of books made safe and secure. Edward takes her back to his townhouse, and finds, she is not quite as unattractive as he thought, and after a few brandies, he is kissing and exploring her quite thoroughly. He is not a seducers of virgins however, and manages to stop himself, even though Eliza is responsive.
The next morning he tosses money at her in an attempt to be rid of her, but Eliza is not so eager to go. She proposes that she merely 'pretend' to be his mistress. The reasons he wishes a mistress to be in attendance with him is to rattle his mother, with whom he has had a violable relationship since birth. Also, it is the condition of his late brother's will. It is rather convoluted actually, and somewhat strange. And we find out, not really true. He really wants to embarrass his mother is the real reason. Edward's relationship with his mother has grounds in deception, no doubt explains Edward's closed off heart and his low opinion of women. Edward's mother is a real dragon. Hateful, no wonder Edward wants to embarrass her.
After the almost seduction, Eliza continues her role as 'pretend' mistress, which accounts for a few public and heated kisses and gropings in the very public hallways of the estate. While there is a definite spark of physical attraction, what was engaging about this story was the slow building friendship between the so-called notorious Lord Lightning and Eliza. It was quite moving to see them slowly reveal their darkest secrets of their pasts, and their longings. And grow closer as a result. Edward, it seems is filled with self-loathing, which he masks with his Lord Lightning persona, he really is two men, and I found his character fascinating.
Eliza is stubborn, she is determined to unveil Edward's true nature, while he is determined to never show any vulnerability. Mama Dragon soon has Eliza arrested on trumped up charges.
Edward, finally, has an epiphany.
This must be love, he thought with wonder, this joy that arises when I am close to her, even when there is no reason to feel joy, this hope that fills me even when there is no reason to hope.
Fascinating, or not, Edward, at times, is hard to take. He really does say and do some nasty things while in his 'Lord Lightning' persona, but it is his heartfelt confessions that redeemed him in my eyes. He had a horrid childhood, and it affected his life on so many levels.
Eliza herself, has not had it easy, and she grows stronger as the book progresses, I liked that. And her talent for whipping up an astrology chart is endearing.
Edward goes into rescue mode, as Eliza is now in the clutches of some debauched magistrate, Some unanswered questions of Edward's past is resolved, along with the reason for his mother's disdain toward him. Can Edward and Eliza find love at last?
While I enjoyed the growing friendship between the two, and the astrology backdrop, I found the passion between them lacking something I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it was just me. Perhaps it was the fact Edward was similar to a Jekyll and Hyde type personality, it may have taken something away from the love story to me. But there is enough here of their growing love to reel me in.
Regardless, this was very readable, and I would recommend it
3 and 1/4 stars out of 4 for the book
KOVER KUDOS: Wonderful cover, and the model is a blond god, just how Lord Lighting is described, love the astrology stuff in the background, nice touch.
3 and 1/2 stars out of 4 for the cover