Review: The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-booktheluckiestladyinlondon
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Felix Rivendale
Heroine: Louisa Cantwell
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 5, 2013
Started On: November 19, 2013
Finished On: November 21, 2013

His eyes met hers again. “Let me give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of.”

I believe the above is something every woman dreams of hearing from the man she has the most avid crush on say to her. Or one would think unless it comes from the mouth of Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth known as The Ideal Gentleman, who is determined not to ever fall in love or give any woman the chance to make him vulnerable like he’d been all throughout his childhood.

Louisa Cantwell is equally determined that she’d get a marriage proposal from a man who’d be able to give her exactly what she wants. The daughter of a fortune hunter with no dowry of her own and no ravishing looks to boast of either, Louisa knows exactly what she has to offer to a husband of her choosing. With her sights set on two men she thinks she can ‘handle’, it comes as a shock to her system when sheer unadulterated lust uncoils inside of her when she lays eyes on the most gorgeous of men, Felix Rivendale.

A passing glance is what a marriage seeking innocent like Louisa would’ve warranted from Felix if not for the intrigue that she stirs inside of him. Felix knows that Louisa is hardly what she presents herself to be to the rest of the ton, just like himself, who has managed to and continues to fool everyone on what he is.

Intrigue turns into lust, and Felix tells himself that it is both combined that makes Louisa the worthy adversary that she is, who occupies a lot of his mind, too much perhaps for his liking. The layer of suspicion that always underlies her gaze whenever she sets her sights on Felix together with just how much she resists the pull between them makes him feel more wicked and the rush that it gives something decadent, to be savored for a man who thinks nothing can move him.

Felix continues to be able to fool himself until his wedding night which leaves him stark ‘naked’ without that ruthless control of his which comes tumbling down after the weeks and weeks of foreplay that had readied both of them to its culminating event. Though Louisa knows that falling in love with the one man she shouldn’t fall for is the pits, her unforgettable wedding night gives her that little ray of hope that Felix ruthlessly and effectively crushes right in front of her.

What followed turned out to be so so good in so many different ways. Let me rephrase that, the whole book turned out to be absolutely fantastic in so many ways. I wholeheartedly adored Felix; what’s there not to be adored in a man who is absolutely clueless when it comes to the yearning of his heart, a man who learns the errors of his ways and goes  about doing absolutely everything in his power to make it right even if it might mean victory may not be in sight ever?

Louisa was just as adorable, a woman who matches, understands and loves Felix for who he is, and that in my opinion made her the most worthy of Felix’s absolute love, adoration  and trust. The Luckiest Lady in London has got the humor, the class and the wit that makes it one of the best historical romances of this year. Sherry Thomas certainly knows what she’s doing and it shows in every single historical romance of hers that I’ve read to date.

This romance has so much heat to it that I felt my whole body warm up from the inside out every single time Louisa and Felix entered the scene. Sherry Thomas has a definite knack for creating sexual tension unlike any other, and dear sweet lord, does she deliver on so many occasions throughout the story, not explicit in nature, but still tantalizing and delicious enough to make me sigh in utmost satisfaction and make my toes curl inward and out every single time.

The only thing that I had even the slightest contention with was the ending. Being the masochist that I am, I guess I wanted just a bit more angst. And perhaps the ending was quite fitting and in line with the story that unfolded if I were to think about it from a different perspective. Needless to say, Sherry Thomas held me completely enthralled and in the story’s grip throughout which is no mean feat if you ask me. And I’m certainly looking forward to see whether Sherry Thomas is going to gives us the story of Lady Tremaine, who happened to be one of Felix’s mistresses, a most intriguing woman whom I say has definitely got a tale to tell.

Most definitely recommended for fans of sensuous historical romances and of course fans of Sherry Thomas. This is a must not miss!

Final Verdict: Off the charts sexual tension, sensuality & prose that only Sherry Thomas can pull off. A definite winner!

Favorite Quotes

All at once she lifted her gaze—she might as well get it over with. She was presented with a head of thick black hair and an aristocratic profile. Then, as if sensing her attention, he turned to her.
A pox on everyone who had ever told her that The Ideal Gentleman was handsome. He was not handsome—he was extravagantly gorgeous. One look into his serene yet hypnotic green eyes, and all the romantic yearnings she had never before experienced struck her at once, like a bullet to the heart.

“A shame,” he replied softly. “I know the earl’s sons very well. We’d have met much sooner had you been acquainted with them.”
She was staring down into her plate, but at his tone, which made her feel strange things, she could not help turning her face, looking into his eyes for the first time since she saw him across the drawing room, before the start of dinner.
Instantly a fierce heat swept over her. Had she thought that there was nothing erotic in the attention he directed her way? That must have been a different lifetime altogether. For this gaze of his made her think of . . . skin. Flesh. And, God help her, unnatural acts.

“Have you missed me?”
He didn’t ask such questions. Or at least, he didn’t ask such questions when the answers mattered.
Her left hand closed into a fist. “Of course I have missed you.”
The floor stopped wobbling. He breathed again.

He could see it, too, now. Except he saw it even more perversely. His guests would not be in the house, but on the grounds for the bonfire party that always marked the last night of his summertime hospitality. Most would remain near the manor, but some would venture farther afield and almost stumble upon them, hidden in the shadows, still fully clothed, but with her skirts pushed up above her waist, and him hilt-deep inside her.

His lips never leaving hers, he touched her in that secret place. She moaned; she writhed; she kissed him with a desperate fervor. Then suddenly she was crying out, her body tensing.
A heartbeat later he was deep inside her, filling her with his essence, convulsing with a pleasure that turned him inside out.

“Tell me to stop and I will.” His voice was hoarse, nothing like how he usually sounded.
And his eyes were tightly shut. Dimly he remembered that he’d meant to look his fill of her as he brought her to one trembling peak after another. But the sensations of her person were all he could handle; the sight of it would undo him altogether.
“I never want you to stop,” she whispered, kissing his ear as she spoke, jolting him with another surge of lust. “Never.”

The pleasure of her—he was mindless with it. He invaded her again and again, her whimpers of pleasure a fire in his blood. Her name escaped his throat; he could not stop telling her how exquisite she was and how much he craved her.
When her body tightened voluptuously around his cock, he lost any and all control he might have still possessed. And gave himself up to the most explosive pleasure he had ever known.

She wrapped her legs around his waist. “You make me willing to do anything with you—and for you.”
Her flattery did not go to waste. The next second he was inside her again, hot and huge. She pulled him in for a kiss, and did not let him go until her pleasure was winding tighter and tighter and she was struggling to breathe.
It was like the sky falling.
Beyond, the stars.

He had no recollection of either shoving aside her skirts or freeing himself from the encumbrance of his trousers. The next thing he knew was a desperate upward plunge as he entered her—and the gasps that echoed between them.
The ferocity of her lips, the avarice of her hands, the sheer, agonizing scorch of her person. He didn’t know how he remembered to clamp a palm over her mouth—perhaps only when he heard someone calling, from no more than fifteen feet away, “Quick. The fireworks are about to start.”
Their own fireworks ignited first. He barely protested before surrendering to the demonic pleasures of her body clenching and shuddering about his.

But she did not want to lose control alone—that path led directly back to the pit of despair. “Come in deeper. Are you in me as deep as you want to be?”
Now they were tumbling off the edge together; now his control was as shattered as hers. And now she finally closed her eyes and let herself be swept away by the surge of pleasure.
And by his harshly uttered words in her ear, as he gripped her close: “I can never be in you deep enough. Never.”

She undid his trousers. Her lips followed her hands, her tongue swirling about him in scalding, indecent ways. His hips flexed involuntarily, even as despair swamped him. She took him deep into her mouth; his grunt of pleasure echoed against the walls.
“I love the size of you,” she declared, “the texture of you, the taste of you.”
And the rest of me?
He shut his eyes tight against the pleasure, against the pain, against the possibility of betraying all the yearning in his soul.

The next second, her skirts were shoved up, her bustle knocked aside, her drawers pushed down not only without ceremony, but with hardly even any acknowledgment that they were ever there.
And then he was inside her, hard and thick.
It was the most incredible, most delicious sensation, like being pounded by a runaway train. The force of his thrusts flattened her. It nearly lifted her off the floor. With one hand on her abdomen, he pulled her toward him, so that he came in farther, deeper, harder.

Purchase links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes



Review: Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-booktemptingthebride
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy #3
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings
Heroine: Helena Fitzhugh
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 2, 2012
Started On: December 14, 2012
Finished On: December 18, 2012

For someone who doesn’t read much of historical romances, Sherry Thomas is one author I’d always continue to make an exception for. Its because of the way she brings her characters to life and makes me fall irrevocably in love with the way she spins a web that continues to enchant me until I turn the very last page, all the while mourning the fact that the story couldn’t have gone on for just a little bit longer that will always have me going back for more.

The third and final book in the Fitzhugh trilogy is the story of Helena Fitzhugh, the youngest of the trio and the one who is considered to be the most ‘unconventional’ and ‘wild’ from the siblings. Viscount Hastings is the thorn in Helena’s side so to say from the tender young age in which they come across each other. Hastings who had fallen head over heels in love with Helena had always hidden behind a wall of obnoxious behavior, just so that Helena would never ever find out the depth of his feelings towards the only woman he has ever loved.

When Helena finds herself in a bit of a situation, which would be putting it mildly, it is Hastings that strides to her rescue which in turn forces her to accept his hand in marriage; not to save herself, but rather to save the shame that it would bring to her brother and sister if she were to do otherwise. Angered and frustrated beyond belief at the turn of events, not to mention the fact that a staggering kiss between her and Hastings that had shaken her to the depths of her very soul continues to taunt her, it would be an understatement to say that Helena does everything she can to show that she would not accept being married to Hastings that easily.

But as fate would have it, through a twisted turn of events, Hastings finds himself with a once in a lifetime opportunity to show Helena the side of him that he has kept hidden from her for far too long, the side of him that yearns to love Helena like there is no tomorrow and make up for his despicable behavior of the past. Though Hastings knows that his past could catch up with him at any moment, the answering glow in Helena’s eyes makes the temptation to carry on an irresistible one. And when the inevitable truth comes knocking on their door, it is only the memories of the new side of Hastings that Helena gets to see and remembers that saves the day for both of them in the end.

Its a thing of impossibility to read a novel by Sherry Thomas and not be invested in the outcome of the story and its characters. Likewise, Tempting the Bride had me salivating over Hastings and the effortless ease with which he seduces the very headstrong Helena. And the plus side was that unlike the previous story, the tables were turned in this one such that it is the hero that has been in love with the heroine for far too long, and it was the vulnerable side of Hastings that I fell in love with, time and yet again as I read along.

Helena is a heroine of one of a kind. She is the type of heroine who dares to cross the boundaries and tests society’s patience during an era when females who were anything less than demure were barely tolerated. And because she stays true to her character, I loved her and the layers of her character that continued to unfold throughout the story.

Though I felt again that the ending was a tad rushed in this story as well, I would still recommend Tempting the Bride for historical romance lovers because missing out on Sherry Thomas’ incredible writing is not something I would ever recommend. 

Favorite Quotes

Not all opportunities are created equal. Some are nothing but steps leading down toward catastrophe.

Their eyes met. Without hesitation he kissed her. His weight was solid. His hair—she didn’t know when her fingers had plunged into his hair—was cool and soft. And the hunger in his kiss…contrary to everything she knew, he made her feel as if he’d never kissed anyone before and never wanted to kiss anyone else.

This time he could no longer hold back his tears. And with them came words that he’d never been able to say to her his entire life. “I love you, Helena. I have always loved you. Wake up and let me prove it to you.”

He meant to do it properly, start slow and soft, and only gradually build toward the wildness that had always characterized their kisses. But the moment he touched his lips to hers, she locked one arm behind his neck, and all thoughts of leisure and gentleness leaped out the window.
He devoured her. And she, her tongue mobile and eager, devoured him in return. He pulled her out of her chair and pushed her against the edge of the vanity. She grabbed his hair and moaned, a sound of stark hunger—and it was all he could do not to push up her nightgown and sink into her then and there.

At her incendiary words, he drove deeper—far deeper—into her, unable to help himself.
“So,” she said, her fingers on his cheek, “now I’ve made you mine.”
He took her fingers in hand and kissed them one by one. “You made me yours long ago, but now you finally claimed me.”

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


Review: Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-bookravishingtheheiress.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: George Edward Arthur Granville Fitzhugh (Fitz)
Heroine: Millicent Graves
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 3, 2012
Started On: July 20, 2012
Finished On: July 22, 2012

I have been meaning to get this review written for quite sometime now. Well, ever since I finished the book a couple of days back. I wanted to write the review when the essence of the story was fresh on my mind, when the feelings that coursed through me as I read through every single page of the book still lingered deep inside of me so that I could do the book the justice that it so deserves. But alas, life and its various blunders happened and here I am penning the review a few days later and yet, the remnants of a story that made me cry god honest real tears still lingers on and I wonder whether I would be able to read a story that even remotely compares to this one anytime soon.

I should have actually being prepared when I took on this book on a recommendation from Brie at Romance Around the Corner. That girl has an uncanny ability of recommending books that speaks to this twisted needy heart of mine and Ravishing the Heiress certainly did that and more. And I say I should have been prepared because my one encounter with Sherry Thomas and the way she writes came right after when I first started reviewing and stumbled across her book Not Quite a Husband. And man, was that a story that had my gut churning and my insides doing cartwheels all around. 

Ravishing the Heiress is the second book in the Fitzhugh Trilogy of which the first book I have not read. But I am definitely looking forward to the 3rd and final book in the series which is to come out on October this year. Sherry certainly leaves us with tantalizing glimpses into the story of Helena and Viscount Hastings not to feel otherwise and I for one cannot wait!

Its the year 1888 and Millicent Graves (Millie) is getting ready for the final phase of Operation Marry Well for which she has been preparing for all her life. Discipline, control and self-denial has always been part of her upbringing, love never a part of the equation for which she has been practicing for up till now. Millie has always been the obedient sort, the one who never makes any untoward waves, does as expected and retreats when need it be. And when at the tender age of 16 years she encounters the new Earl of Fitzhugh, her heart takes that undeniable leap and tumbles headlong into that unknown abyss called love which we all clamor for.

Earl Fitzhugh is 19 when he becomes an earl which hadn’t seemed that terrible at all at first. But when he knows of the situation which would require him to marry well in order to put the state of the affairs of his estate and financial woes of the family to rest, attaining earldom suddenly doesn’t seem like the best thing to happen, especially when it means giving up on the woman he has vowed that he would love for the rest of his life. Though Fitz knows its by no fault of Millie that she has to marry him, he can’t help but feel the deep throes of despair overtake him even at the mere thought of marrying her and living with a woman he doesn’t love for the rest of his life. But Millie offers him a way out, a reprieve that would give him a period of 8 years until the marriage would be consummated and that’s the only thought that gives him the slightest room to breathe as he prepares himself for an ordeal that seems like it would never ever end.

What Sherry Thomas takes us on is a journey filled with so many beautiful and poignant moments that I couldn’t help but have this huge huge lump in my throat at all times. There was a time or two when I thought that I was going to end up with a serious medical condition if it didn’t let up; but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. There is a beauty in the way Sherry writes her stories and brings her characters to life, a dreamlike quality to the love and emotions that she invokes in her readers and I for one was glad to be a part of it as I let myself be catapulted right along with Millie and Fitz in their journey towards happily ever after.

First comes along the friendship, borne out of the need to have a semblance of normalcy in their marriage. A bond forged out of Millie’s need to see the man she love shake the grief that weighs down on him from day one of their marriage. Their quest to put their estate to rights, to move ahead in their business affairs and day to day mundane activities brings them closer, Fitz coming to rely more on Millie than he would have ever envisioned. And then the 8 year milestone comes up and along with it comes the woman who has never been far from Fitz’s mind, the woman he has made a promise to himself and her that he would love for all eternity.

What Fitz takes on as completing his end of the deal or the bargain that they shook on 8 years back turns out to be the most anticipated event of his life, the feelings that course through him when he thinks of leaving Millie and what they have together giving him that odd ache in his heart which he doesn’t know how to identify as. It would take a whole box of tissues to get through the scene during which the final act takes place, all that pent up longing on Millie’s part acting as a sheer aphrodisiac for the reader, that iron-clad control of hers completely breaking apart under the tender assault of Fitz’s brand of seduction. As the scene progresses, the seducer in turn becomes the seduced and I would have to say that that would be one scene that would forever be permanently etched on my mind.

One would think that Fitz being the total clueless fool he is when it comes to Millie and the fact that he is forced to marry a woman he doesn’t love would make him an ogre, a man that would earn the disapproving frowns from the feminists all around. But nothing could be further from the truth as Fitz is a man who demands nothing lesser than the complete and utter love of the reader even though I would have loved to paint an arrow in bold red color and point it towards Millie a time or two. But his utter clueless nature when it comes to his wife whose heart remains a mystery to him is what makes the story so, so good, the angst so well delivered that I couldn’t have asked for more.

The only thing I found disappointing as the other readers is the fact that the ending seemed a trifle bit too rushed, the resolving of the main issue that had been holding back Fritz just a tad too ‘easy’ for my tastes. I wanted the best and only the best for both Fitz and Millie and especially Millie who earned my undying love throughout the story for her patience, perseverance and unselfish nature  though she is no doormat heroine.

If you are a fan of historical romances, if you want a story that would take you away on a breathtaking journey, if you want to be swept away by the sheer magic of words alone, pick this up and never look back. I guarantee you an amazing read that would make you cry buckets before you are through! Kudos to Sherry Thomas for another story that amazes and awes in equal doses. Some authors create magic – and Sherry is one of them.

Favorite Quotes

“Was unhappiness really so invisible? Or did people simply prefer to turn away, as if from lepers?”

“Rain came down in sheets. It had been a miserable spring. Already he despaired of ever again walking under an unclouded sky.”

“Perhaps unrequited love was like a specter in the house, a presence that brushed at the edge of senses, a heat in the dark, a shadow under the sun.”

He was summertime itself, young, luminous, lit from within by rekindled hopes and reawakened dreams. And every beggar along his path—herself included—could expect redoubled generosity and kindness.

It was the beginning of the end.
Or perhaps, it was only the end of something that was never meant to begin.

Even now her body yearned to be closer to him. She wanted to press her nose into his skin and inhale hungrily—he always smelled as if he’d just taken a walk across a sunny meadow. She wanted to rub her palm against his jaw to feel the beginning of stubbles. She wanted to slide her hands underneath his shirt and learn every single shape and texture, with the fierce dedication she’d once put into mastering the Grandes Études.

Some hopes were weeds, easy to eradicate with a yank and a pull. Some, however, were vines, fast growing, tenacious, and impossible to clear. As she played the music box again, alone in the drawing room, she began to realize that hers were of the latter kind.
She would never stop hoping.

But tonight, after the carriages left, there would be Millie, her scent like a breeze from their lavender field at the height of summer, her skin as smooth as the finest velvet.
Their eyes met. She flushed. Desire tumbled through him.

He kissed her on her ear, a kiss with the barest hint of moisture to it. She could not breath for the electricity of it, a violent spark of pleasure that shook and scarred. His fingers caressed her shoulders. His lips pressed into her exposed nape. Dark, hot sensations spiked into her.

Make no sounds. Do not, under any circumstances, make any sounds.
She faltered. A whimper of unutterable pleasure escaped her tightly clenched teeth.
Deep inside her, a dam that had been ceaselessly reinforced crumbled. Years upon years of pent-up desires flooded her. Suddenly she couldn’t care less that she must remain quiet and pliant.
She wanted. She wanted. She wanted.
She gripped him by the lapel and yanked him to her.

His climax began gathering again, rising toward a point of no return. He didn’t know if he could restrain himself this time: He was too close, too near to being overwhelmed.
She cried out, trembling exclamations.
He lost all control, his release hot, violent, and endless.

Then he made love to her not only as if he had never experienced lovemaking before, but no one had.

And in the depth of her eyes were all these years—seasons they’d known, paths they’d trod.
Slowly he entered her again. Everything reflected in her gaze: shyness, yearning, ripples of pleasure.
The pleasure turned fierce, then ferocious. He labored to draw breath. In the wash of her climax, she closed her eyes. He closed his own eyes and yielded to the moment.

Love without friendship is like a kite, aloft only when the winds are favorable. Friendship is what gives love its wings.

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


Review: Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-book
Read with: MS Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bantam Books
Series: Standalone
Hero: Leo Marsden
Heroine: Bryony Asquith
Published on: May 19, 2009
Started On: August 23, 2009
Finished On: August 28, 2009

I have never before read a story by Sherry Thomas and this one proved to be a delightful find with the sensations that coursed through all of me when I lost myself in Leo and Bryony’s story. I decided to give this delectable read a try, or rather grabbed the chance to read this book upon reading a thread on Amazon’s Romance Discussion forum which helps me to separate out my books into the “must-read, read-if-you’ve-got-nothing-else & do-not-read” piles.

This book proved to be worth my while and then some and I was instantly hooked to Sherry Thomas’ style of writing and her vivid characterization which you can’t help but fall head over heels in love with.

One of the most interesting factors in this story is the fact that Leo is younger than Bryony. This story is told from the viewpoints of both Leo and Bryony and is gut and heart wrenching tale with obviously a happy ending that put a smile to my face when I went to sleep tonight.

This story begins where others usually end with the story of how Leo and Bryony gets married up to the point of annulment of their marriage. Bryony, a surgeon by profession which was hardly in fashion during the Victorian era for a woman, leaves England and goes traveling halfway around the world to soothe her broken spirit and to get away from all the gossip that surrounds her in London. Thinking that Leo never did love her when in fact the truth is from the beginning of his life Leo had in fact being fascinated with Bryony and loved her and never had a clue why his Bryony remains so cold and aloof towards him during their short-lived marriage, ends up in a remote little village in India where Leo finds her to inform her that her father with whom Bryony has always had a strained relationship with, is on the deathbed and needs her back home.

The journey that these two take across the tiny villages scattered across India wrought with danger, and the ultimate realizations and truths about their marriage and enlightening insights into both Bryony and Leos past weaves a breathtaking tale of romance, love and passion that is guaranteed to keep any true romantic hooked from the beginning to end. I have to warn all the ladies though — Leo is lethal, he will stake and claim your heart from the very beginning of the story and never let go!

Highly recommended for all historical romance lovers out there. This is a MUST read!

Looking forward to many more great tales by Sherry Thomas.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble