The title: Desired
The author: Nicola Cornick
Publication: Harlequin, 2011
Got it from: The library
In what may be Romancelandia's greatest opening scene ever, the heroine, thrice-widowed Tess Darent, is being chased by guards who have broken up the political reform meeting she was part of. Making her escape from a nearby brothel, Tess shimmies down a bedsheet and (unknowingly) into the arms of one of the guards, soon-to-be hero Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury.
The following exquisite exchange takes place:
"Good evening, Lady Darent," he said. "What an original way to exit a brothel."
"Lord Rothbury," Tess said coolly. "Thank you - I never follow the crowd."
Did I mention the dress she stole had just fallen off her? Because it did.
Well, gosh darn it to heck. I loved this book so much, I don't even know how to properly convey it. It was funny, emotionally complex, sweet, smart, wonderful. I loved that the heroine was seemingly wanton but wasn't (kind of like the female equivalent of the fake rake). I loved that she was involved in political reform. I loved that the hero was so sweet and thoughtful and helped Tess move past the terrible abuse she'd suffered in one of her previous marriages. It was just all-around satisfying and near-perfect and...sigh of happiness.
I honestly don't know how I'm supposed to get any other reading done when there are so many wonderful, complex, sexy new romances out there to read, and they all have an accompanying series. The only sensible solution is for the authors to just stop writing and give me a chance to catch up. I'm serious - between Elizabeth Hoyt and Sherry Thomas and Nicola Cornick and Courtney Milan and a whole bunch of others, you really just need to stop right now. It's too much. Sensory overload.