The title: Suddenly You
The author: Lisa Kleypas
Publication: Avon, 2001
Got it from: Book Depot
Set in early Victorian London, this book features Amanda Briars, a celebrated novelist who is depressed about her upcoming 30th birthday and the fact she is still a virgin. Desperate to experience the kind of lives the heroines in her novels have, Amanda visits the notorious Gemma Bradshaw and asks for a man to be sent to her on her birthday. However, the wrong man shows up - Jack Devlin, London's most notorious publisher, who has bought the rights to Amanda's first book. Deciding not to disappoint Amanda on her birthday, Jack gives her a night to remember. Later, Amanda is mortified to discover his true identity, but she is determined not to let him get the best of her, despite their explosive attraction to one another.
I initially read this book because of my own upcoming 30th birthday and the fact that this book is on All About Romance's Top 100 Romances list (#30, naturally). I loved the first 2/3 of this book. Amanda and Jack definitely had a cat-and-mouse relationship, which is my all-time favourite, trying to one-up each other even when they can't keep their hands off each other. I found myself laughing out loud at several scenes, which is always a good sign. This is my first Kleypas novel, and I can see why she has so many fans. The plot moved a good pace and the character and the dialogue were all believable, not once slipping into the ridiculous or far-fetched. My only quibble is with the last third of the book. Time sped up and months jumped ahead, which is something I really disliked. I much prefer to have my novels take place over a short span of time. Also, as Jack and Amanda realized their love for one another, I felt that some of the "spark" between them dissipated, to be replaced with mushiness. Which I suppose is how these things go, but I rather wished to see more of their banter. I also felt disappointed that we didn't learn much about the plot of Amanda's novel, which seemed like it was built up to be a big deal at the beginning. Overall though, a most enjoyable story.