Read with: Kindle/iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Gowns of White, #3
Hero: Jake Wyczynski
Heroine: Susan Abbott
Date of Publication: February 1, 1999
Started On: November 23, 2014
Finished On: November 24, 2014
My craving for an Anne Stuart found me with The Right Man, a novel penned by Ms. Stuart for the 50th anniversary of Harlequin. Told in three parts, The Right Man has a time travel factor to it and tells the story of Susan Abott who begins to question her impending marriage to her fiance Edward with the arrival of Jake Wyczynski, who comes bearing gifts from her godmother.
Susan has always been a dutiful daughter, one who hadn’t cared much for the passions that seems to rule people. But with the arrival of Jake on her doorstep, Susan starts experiencing twinges of doubts where her decision to marry Edward is concerned and for the very first time finds herself captivated by heady desire for a man that slowly begins to overrule her senses. However, Susan believes herself to be made of sterner stuff, that is until she finds herself occupying the role of her deceased aunt Tallulah, who had died 50 years back on her wedding day.
50 years in the past, Susan meets Jack McGowan, the man who makes her heart pound with desire, the man for whom she would give up everything, if only he were able to love her back. Tallulah’s life is a nightmare, with her father and stepmother “forcing” her to marry a man of immense wealth just so they can continue to live within the means they think should be their due. With the clock ticking, Susan has to find a way to give Tallulah a happy ending and at the same time find a way to return back to her life, something she seemingly wants less and less as the time spent with Jack makes her yearn to stay back.
The Right Man is a story that had a trifle bit of an oddity to it in the time travel factor, and yet told beautifully. Juggling three individual stories that I yearned to read as standalone novels, Anne Stuart managed to pull it off in the manner that only an author of her caliber can. I had a hard time separating Jack and Jake in my mind and I’m just going to say that I loved them both equally and fell for both of them hard and fast. They were both exactly when Tallulah and Susan had needed. And I couldn’t have loved them any more even if I tried.
Susan & Tallulah are easy enough to separate in my mind. Though there’s a fifty year time span between the two, their situations had been eerily similar in a manner that lent the story an ethereal feel to it. Though I didn’t care much for the time travel aspect of the story and firmly believe that the story would’ve worked wonderfully well even without that and that Susan would have eventually seen the error of her decision to marry a man so unsuitable for her, Anne Stuart still managed to blow my mind with the ending she gave to the story. I could have sighed for an eternity over the beautiful ending and it still wouldn’t have been enough.
Final Verdict: Magical!
He pulled her closer against him, so that her body was plastered up against his nearly nude one, so that she could feel how hard he was, how much he wanted her. She tasted of fresh strawberries and coffee, and he wanted more, he wanted to taste every part of her, he wanted to strip off her clothes and drag her over to that narrow, sagging bed.
She stopped thinking. She slid her arms around his waist, plastering her body against his, and she made a soft, moaning sound of surrender in the back of her throat. She’d been so cold, and now she was blazing hot, her body on fire, tasting his tongue in her mouth, feeling the strength of his hard body against hers, his hand closing over her breast, his leg nudging between her thighs.
“You want to hit me again?” he taunted.
“Yes!” She moved toward him, like a fool, not realizing his intention. He caught her upraised hand and pulled her into his arms, her body slamming up against his. This time when he kissed her she kissed him back, surrendering with a quiet moan of longing and despair.
Her instincts had been right— Jack McGowan sat sprawled on the sofa, sound asleep. With a towheaded baby nestled comfortably against his shoulder.
He was snoring softly, which didn’t seem to disturb the sleeping baby one bit. He’d loosened his tie, his hair was ruffled and he was in need of a shave. He was the best thing she’d ever seen in her life.
He slid his fingers through her short- cropped hair, tilting her face up to his. And then he kissed her, taking his time— a slow, languorous touch of mouth against mouth, tongue against tongue, building in increments of heat and desire until he found she was trembling and he was, too.
He didn’t ask. He simply pulled her up tight against his body and took her to the bed. And she let him.
He didn’t remember how he managed to strip his pants off, but he did so in record time. He was blind with need, wild with it, wild with wanting her, and the calm, sane part of him had vanished into some dark, dangerous place, where all that mattered was Susan, reaching for him, opening for him, taking him deep inside her as she wrapped her body around his and held him tight.
It was dark and gloriously sinful and utterly right, and she moved in the darkness, the breeze cooling her fevered skin as she slid over his body and took him deep within her, rocking and surging until she shattered around him, helpless in her powerful response, and he turned her beneath him and finished it. She hid her face against his chest, licking his skin, whispering dark and wicked secrets, and he kissed her eyelids and her throat, kissed the small of her back and behind her knees, and nothing mattered but that the night would never end.