Review: The Bride in Blue by Miranda Lee

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedlocked
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Jonathon Parnell
Heroine: Sophia
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 25, 1996
Started On: May 02, 2021
Finished On: May 02, 2021

I have forgotten the countless number of times I have indulged in The Bride in Blue by Miranda Lee, one of my favorite Harlequin romances to revisit time and yet again. However, it is also amazing that I have never put down a review of this book for whatever reason, which I aim to rectify this time around.

The story begins with Sophia the bride wearing blue on her wedding day, to be lawfully wedded, not to the man whose child she is carrying, but to his younger brother who steps into take her beloved Godfrey’s place to do the right thing. From the start, Jonathon Parnell had rubbed Sophia the wrong way – he was just too much of everything, and being the distraught bride mourning the loss of the love of her life certainly does not make it easy for her to see him any other way.

There is a powerful connection that exists between Jonathon and Sophia. While Sophia might be naive and inexperienced not to know that, Jonathon does and that is the singular most reason why this story is so appealing on multiple fronts. There are those readers who would find Sophia annoying – and I admit, she is annoying at first, because like everyone else, she is quick to judge Jonathon without understanding the dynamics that drives his behavior.

When Sophia finally starts to see the undercurrents that exists within the family and how Jonathon is the pariah for some reason, the man who is always on the sidelines left wanting – though his cold and aloof manner would hardly tell you anything, that is when Sophia starts to realize the true worth of the man who is her husband.

The sexual desire that awakens in Sophia is a foregone conclusion when it comes to Jonathon; readers will have to experience Jonathon for his animal magnetism to understand why, not to mention the fact that he harbors a secret he is unwilling to part with when it comes to his reluctant bride.

At the cost of repeating myself and sounding gushy, I so love this story. I would say this is Miranda Lee at her very best, delivering a hero that makes you literally melt from the way he just strides into a room. Yes, Jonathon is that kind of hero. Once Sophia starts to see Jonathon in a new light, you can see the feisty side of hers emerge; the woman who gives it her all when it comes to loving and protecting Jonathon.

The angst factor was just right, and the sexual tension that permeates throughout the book heady enough, and I could not ask for more! Sophia’s fantasy when it comes Jonathon, when at last she is ready to accept him as her husband in the truest form – well, you will have to read on to find out!

Recommended for the sheer effect of Jonathon as he wreaks havoc on your senses.

Final Verdict: The Bride in Blue is the kind of book that stands the test of time, the reason why when I read for pleasure, my chosen genre would always be romance!

Favorite Quotes

‘Say “I will,”’ Jonathon hissed into her ear.
‘I…I w-will,’ Sophia stammered, to her mortification.
‘God,’ came the low mutter from beside her.
Jonathon bit out his ‘I will’ as if he were giving a guilty verdict for murder. When the celebrant pronounced them ‘as one’ in a flowery way, followed by a sickening smirk and a ‘you may kiss your bride’, Sophia darted Jonathon an anxious look.
She didn’t want him to kiss her but she couldn’t really see how they could avoid it. Everyone else knew their marriage was a sham, but the celebrant didn’t. Jonathon looked just as reluctant to oblige, but, seeing perhaps that he had no alternative, he took Sophia firmly by the shoulders, turned her his way and bent his head.
Sophia steeled herself for the cold imprint of his mouth on hers, so she was somewhat startled to find that the firm lips pressing down on hers were quite warm. Her eyelashes fluttered nervously, her mouth quivering tremulously beneath his. His mouth lifted, and for a second he stared down into her surprised face. Something glittered in that cold blue gaze.
Then he did something that really shocked her.
He kissed her again.

Jonathon’s eyes narrowed on the rapid rise and fall of her chest. ‘Are you saying you want to go to bed with me?’ he asked, his voice disbelieving.
Sophia kept her eyes steady on him, even whilst her cheeks were burning. ‘I can’t say I do, but I can’t say I don’t. I haven’t had much experience in such matters. But you must know you’re a very attractive man, Jonathon, and I’m sure, a very experienced one. What do you think?’ she rashly flung at him. ‘Could you make me want to go to bed with you?’
Those blazing but oddly cold blue eyes seemed to seer through her dress, their fire heating her skin, their ice freezing her nipples into hard little pebbles. With breathtaking and incredibly sensual slowness, his gaze travelled upwards, leaving behind a parched throat and parted panting lips. At last he reached her eyes, her large, liquid brown eyes which grew larger as they glimpsed the power within that ruthlessly sexual gaze.
Oh, yes, she realised breathlessly, he could make her want to go to bed with him. But it would be nothing like what she had experienced with Godfrey. His kisses would not be sweet or soft or romantic. There would be no meeting of souls, only a meeting of bodies. Hard, panting bodies, reaching for each other in a strictly primitive passion.

‘I shouldn’t be doing this,’ he muttered against her lips, groaning a type of despair, she thought, as the last millimetre between them was crossed.
And then she didn’t think anything. There was nothing but his mouth, hard on hers, his hands tightening on her flesh.
When his mouth lifted momentarily on a raw moan, she gasped for air, only to instantly have his lips back covering hers and his tongue, hot and wet, surging deep inside. Wild swirls filled her head, the blood pounding in her temples. She pressed her hips against his, whimpering a need she had never felt before.

Standing there as he was in the moonlight, with his shoulders squared and his fists curled, his chest still rising and falling with the physical effort of that savage swim, he presented an image rather similar, Sophia fancied, to that of a primitive man who’d just forded a flooded river. Soon, he would stride on home to his cave where his woman would be waiting with food cooking over an open fire.
But this caveman wouldn’t want to eat straight away. He’d been away, after all, for days, seeking out new hunting fields. What he suffered from was hunger of a different kind.
Sophia could see him now, eyeing his scantily clad mate with hot eyes, then coming forward to grab a clump of her hair at the back of her head, bending her body back till he could suckle on one of her bare breasts like a starving infant before dragging her back on to their rough bed of furs at the back of their cave and vanquishing his hunger, not once, but several times.

He crossed the carpet with huge strides, looking larger and larger with each step till he towered over her. She lifted rounded eyes to his narrowed ones, her tongue suddenly thick in her mouth. A flood of nerves consumed her, bringing with it a trembling deep inside.
But even as her apprehension built, so did her desire, her eyes clinging to his, her body unconsciously straining towards him.
He ripped the nightie from her body, rent it in two from top to toe and threw it aside before sweeping her shaking body up into his arms and carrying her to the bed. He held her briefly against his damp body, hot eyes raking over her naked flesh before spreading her out on the quilt then swiftly stripping himself. Sophia was stunned by the speed with which he loomed over her, a dark silent force that breathed but did not speak.

‘No, don’t stop,’ she cried a second time when he abandoned what he was doing.
He didn’t stop. He merely started replacing his mouth and hands with his body, making her gasp when she realised he was as large there as he was everywhere else. A sob caught in her throat, her eyes squeezing tightly shut against the pressure of his titanic desire seeking entry into her almost virginal body.
When he suddenly achieved the unachievable, slipping deeply inside, Sophia’s eyes flung wide. All discomfort had ceased, the only sensation one of being thoroughly and very satisfyingly filled. What Jonathon was feeling, she couldn’t tell. He didn’t look at her from where he was still kneeling between her legs, his hands under her buttocks, his concentration seemingly on that area where their flesh became one. His face was in shadow, but his stillness suggested a silent savouring of their union.

Jonathon, however, had driven her mind and body into a crazed frenzy from the first moment he’d kissed her tonight. Yet they weren’t in love with each other. It hadn’t been making love, what he’d done to her on this bed, what he was still doing to her…
His name was torn from her lips, a lost, bewildered cry which called for him to explain how she could feel like this when there was no love involved, to comfort her in her confusion, to hold her till this cataclysmic experience released her from its tenacious grip.

You’re so lovely,’ he muttered, his eyes narrowed upon her. When he ran the back of his fingers across the tips of her breasts, she gasped aloud. He groaned, and dropped his head.
‘God, Sophia, do you have any idea how much I want you?’
She simply stared at him, unable to say a word.
‘I need to have you right now,’ he went on, sweeping her up into his arms. ‘No foreplay. Nothing for you but the knowledge that I’ve never been like this with any woman before. I haven’t a hope of controlling myself as I did last night. Believe me, I guaranteed that performance by swimming in a cold pool till I was almost exhausted. It took the edge off my need. Not so this time,’ he told her as he strode back into the bedroom. ‘This time I will be appallingly quick. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to frighten you, or disappoint you. But I must do this. Don’t say no.’

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | AbeBooks

Review: Rendezvous with Revenge by Miranda Lee

Format: E-bookrendezvouswithrevenge
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1967
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Ethan Grant
Heroine: Abigail Rose-Maree Richmond
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 15, 2011
Started On: September 24, 2011
Finished On: September 24, 2011

After I read my last Miranda Lee, I found myself in a tizzy to find out more books by the author that might deliver the sort of stories that I fondly seem to recall having read from her even now. So, as usual, I found myself trolling Amazon to find what the all-knower-of-books had to recommend from Miranda Lee and found myself intrigued enough to buy myself a copy Rendezvous with Revenge. 

An orthopaedic surgeon in his thirties, Dr. Ethan Grant is a man cynical and weary of women who presume to show only one side of their nature, hiding their true form until it is too late to turn away from the inevitable disaster that follows; even when Ethan takes care to make things as casual in his relationships as possible. Dedicated to his profession above everything else, Ethan is the uber controlled type of hero that just makes the reader want to ruffle his feathers a bit, just to see what makes him tick!

25 year old Abigail Rose-Maree Richmond (Abby) has a sour viewpoint of anything to do with romance, love and happily ever after after her first and ex-boyfriend left her in a lurch that she would never ever forget. Determined to make it by herself, Abby juggles two jobs one of which is acting as Ethan’s secretary on each Friday of the week.

Six months on since she started working for the eye-catching Dr. Ethan Grant, Abby finds herrself between a rock and a hard place when Ethan issues her with an offer she knows she should say no to, but her heart and other baser emotions wants to say “Oh, hell yes!” to. When circumstances out of here control finds Abby saying yes to attending the medical conference acting as Ethan’s current beau, Abby finds herself wanting to throw caution to the wind and take a flying leap into Ethan’s arms to experience the fire that smolders in Ethan’s otherwise shuttered expression.

When Abby clues in on the real reason behind Ethan’s facade of taking her along as his girlfriend, Abby becomes more determined than ever to do everything in her power to eliminate each and every single memory that Ethan has of his ex-fiance, even if it means breaking her heart in the process.

While the first half of the book worked for me brilliantly, it was the second half of the book that I had a huge problem with. I was left bewildered with the abrupt change in the tone set for the second half of the book, the first half of which was spent with Ethan barely hinting at being attracted towards Abby. But lo and behold, without any hint whatsoever, Ethan turned into this cloying and sweet man that just made my head spin around, and not in a good way.

One aspect of this book that I loved; Miranda always knows how to deliver on the raw passion and desire that she generates between her heroes and heroines. And with Ethan and Abby she managed to do just that without being overly explicit which just made my senses hum.

I didn’t overly much like the ending. Though I was happy with the fact that both Ethan and Abby conversed like rational adults and told each other the stuff that was hanging between them that could have really caused serious conflicts between them, I couldn’t totally accept Ethan’s change of heart for what it was to be. All the proclamations of love towards the end just felt false to me. If the ending had been different, as in the tone of the novel had not changed so abruptly halfway through the book, this could have ended up being a great read. 

Though not what I expected, I would still classify Rendezvous with Revenge as a good read, a choice for a light read in between those heavy reads that requires all your brain cells to be on red alert.

Momentous Scenes: The moment Abby makes Ethan lose his legendary control during their first blazing sexual encounter. Shivers of the good kind hummed right through me!

Favorite Quotes

Her actions were instinctive—her hands reaching up to run feverishly over his stiffly held shoulders, then up his corded neck towards his suddenly taut face muscles. His mouth gasped open when she began to trace his lips boldly with her fingers. She didn’t hesitate, daringly inserting them into his mouth, sliding them back and forth along his wet tongue in an echo of what his body was doing inside hers.
‘Ethan,’ she moaned in her mad passion for him. ‘Oh, Ethan…’
He froze for a second, then shuddered violently, a raw, animal sound punched from his lungs.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo 

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Review: Marriage In Jeopardy by Miranda Lee

Format: E-bookmarriageinjeopardy.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents, #1728
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Blake Preston
Heroine: Juliana Preston
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 1995
Started On: September 14, 2011
Finished On: September 15, 2011

Miranda Lee is one of the few select authors from Harlequin whose stories that I read and enjoy. I remember reading my first Miranda Lee almost 12 years back and feeling scandalized because Miranda is one author who definitely knows how to deliver sensuality of the sizzling variety in her novels. Though it has been ages since I read a Miranda Lee, I still identified her voice and the way she generates heat between her two characters that makes for an invigorating read if a short and quick romance is what the doctor ordered for the day. For me, tackling with my migraines, short and quick was exactly what the doctor ordered and though this is not the greatest romance out there, after my forced fast from books, I loved bits of the stories though  there were some aspects of it that I didn’t fully agree with.

Juliana and Blake Preston married in the true sense of their marriage being a business arrangement with separate bedrooms and scheduled sexual encounters between them. Blake is the owner of the prestigious Preston’s Toys and Games and is as self-sufficient, self-reliant and self-contained as Juliana who is independent in nature. Blake’s aversion to love and public affection comes from the roller-coaster relationship that was between his father and mother. Juliana’s independent nature comes from witnessing the number of men that had entered and exited her mother’s life. Submerging her true sensual nature and putting up a facade of efficiency and controlled calmness is how Juliana lives her life and that has suited her fine till she finds herself bothered more and more of the distance that Blake ensures that always stays between them.

Juliana’s calm and controlled facade comes crashing down when she receives the news that Blake’s life might have been in danger. The realization that she has fallen in love and may have loved her husband for a long, long time hits her hard and suddenly Juliana finds herself in previously unchartered waters and knows that she is in danger of completely turning into the wild and wanton wife that she has never dreamed she might ever become. Suddenly the bedroom aspect of their marriage looks more daunting when Juliana knows that she is in danger of betraying her new-found feelings to her husband who looks at anything remotely to do with love with loathing.

And thus begins the most difficult time period of their otherwise smooth marriage when Juliana’s emotions comes to the forefront and makes her do a 180 degree turnabout on her marriage and Blake. The story told from Juliana’s point of view and only lets the reader catch glimpses of Blake’s reaction towards the changes that takes place in their marriage and sex life lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions on how Blake feels about Juliana. Though the reader knows that Blake’s feelings towards Juliana is a bit more than just the business arrangement they both embarked on warrants, there were times when Blake’s unfounded jealousy and possessiveness came into play that made me wonder whether Blake knows his wife at all.

Plenty of angst and though not explicit in nature the sensuality is of the toe curling variety that delivers an entertaining read. Recommended for fans of Miranda Lee and old-school Harlequin romances.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

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