Monday, February 28, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: One Night Is Never Enough by Anne Mallory
Avon Historical Feb 22 2011
384 pages By Anne Mallory
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
From the first glimpse he knew he must have her — even if only for a single night . . .
Powerful, ruthless, seductive—the lord of London’s underworld—Roman Merrick gets anything he wants . . . and he burns for Charlotte Chatsworth, a polished jewel in the glittering ton. So he engages her debt-ridden gambler father in a game of chance, wagering ten thousand pounds against one night with the man’s exquisite daughter. And Roman Merrick never loses.
But one night is never enough . . .
Charlotte is devastated to learn that her reprobate father has lost her in a card game to the most dangerous man she’s ever met. With the threat of ruin behind every corner, Charlotte embarks upon a perilous path with the man she cannot forget. But in truth, it’s Roman who has everything to lose—for a game undertaken for pleasure alone soon has him gambling his heart. And love and passion unleashed could bring his great, dark empire tumbling down . . .
The characters in this book were a real puzzle to me. And frustrating. But they were fascinating enough for me to keep reading.
Charlotte is the epitome of the perfect lady of the ton, proper, upstanding and beautiful. Her father dangles her before society, hoping to ensnare a titled bachelor for her to marry. Charlotte's father is a degenerate gambler. So much so, he enters into a a high stakes wager, 10,000 against one night with his jewel of a daughter.
The man who instigated the bet? Roman Merrick, ruthless, dangerous, almost like a Golden God Regency Tony Soprano. Only way better looking. He runs the London underworld with his equally stunning dark haired brother, Andreas. Roman is a walking innuendo, he flirts and snarls with the predatory skill of a jungle cat. Needless to say, he wins the bet.
Charlotte is whisked away to Roman's lair, and after a sensually charged chess game, He promptly falls asleep, not what the innocent Charlotte expected.
For Charlotte has seen Roman before, on a shopping expedition with her maid to a ribbon shop, she witnessed Roman and his brother 'collecting' money owed by the shop owner. Charlotte is immediately struck by all the golden male beauty offset by his feral smile and brutish ways. And Roman is brutish, he is 'shaking down' the owner, this guy is a thug.
Thug or no, his cultured voice sends chills down Charlotte's spine. And now, she must assist her father and keep his end of the bet.
Roman is a little hard to pin down, personality wise. There is no doubt he is dangerous, you have to be to be part of the underworld. He mockingly says to his brother in the shop upon seeing Charlotte, 'brother, I have fallen in love.' I think Roman did, though he did not realize it. He is so cool and detached you wonder if any passion burns in the man. But he finds Charlotte enchanting during their chess game, she does not shrink from answering him back, nor intimidated by his innuendos and warm, passionate touches. After she leaves, Roman decides, one night is not enough, it is never enough. And next they see each other at a social event, he slips a note into her hands that says simply, 'soon'.
This book was very well written, almost poetic in its flow. But I felt somewhat detached from the hero and heroine for some reason. It's hard to know if Roman is simply playing a seduction game here or if he is truly smitten with Charlotte, but perhaps that is the whole point. For I don't think Roman himself knew.
Charlotte succumbs to the game, for she longs to be free from the constraints of society, and her father. She leaves her bedroom window open at Roman's request, and hence begins the torrid affair. It is far beyond what either imagined. Although some of Roman's blunt talk is supposed to be sensual, it comes off as dumb as his request that she suck him...dumb. Yeah. *cringe*
There are many outside forces that culminate to tear this couple apart, but if I was puzzled and felt detached from them through part of the book, by the end, I admit I got caught up in this passionate, intimate love story.
Roman comes alive finally, ( to me, anyway) vulnerable, and heart breathtakingly honest. Charlotte becomes stronger, freer for loving Roman.
Ultimately, I found this an enjoyable enough read, peeling back the layers of passion. I just wish we were able to be party to Roman's inner thoughts more, he had potential to be a great hero.He ultimately emerges as average or very slightly above hero, too bad. As it was, he redeems himself to me at the end, but only a little.
2.75 stars out of 4 for the book
KOVER KUDOS: Yow, Roman is a golden god, this guy has brown hair. Major flaw there, but the pose and colors are nice.
2 stars out of 4 for the cover