I went home and immediately had to begin reading the books. My first was Hern’s. I enjoyed it tremendously, although at first I had a hard time telling some of the characters apart.
When I first started reading IN THE THRILL OF THE NIGHT, I was confused. Too many characters thrown together in the first chapter, too many discussions, too many women with long names, long titles. I couldn't keep it all straight in my head. Who was who? What was going on? Who was talking? It took me a bit. I have to admit to feeling slightly stupid; I had to take notes. I knew the stage was being set for a great series and I wanted to be patient throughout it all. When Hern writes well, she writes well, as ONCE A GENTLEMAN so clearly indicates. Again, Hern did not disappoint. The confusion was only temporary and I soon became so engrossed in the romance, I almost set my apartment on fire (dinner on stove while reading…NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!).
Hern's friends to lovers storyline worked and I found myself delighted and giddy at the end of it. Marianne Nesbitt is 29 years old and part of an elite group of women, all widows who are determined not to be forced into marriage and lose their financial independence.
Meet the rest of the widows:
- Grace Marlowe, widow of a vicar. Long hair, innocent and slightly prudish.
- Beatrice, Lady Somerfield. Striking redhead in her mid-thirties who is acting as chaperon for her niece. She has two daughters of her own.
- Wilhemina "Wilma", Duchess of Hertford. Age unknown, a real vixen in her youth. Modest origins.
- Penelope, Lady Gosforth. Thirty years of age, horny as hell, with cropped locks.
The women each make a pact, urged by Penelope, to find lovers. Marianne enlists the help of one of her husband’s friends, Adam Casenove. Adam is troubled by Marianne’s desire to find a lover and guiltily (because of his friendship with her late husband) wishes he could be the one. Unfortunately, he is engaged and knows it to be impossible. Marianne is also bothered by Adam’s engagement to a woman she considers nothing but a giggling ninny. The two want each other so badly. It’s fun reading them come to terms with their attraction. The tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Marvelous! Everything, from Adam’s attempts to steer undeserving potential lovers away from Marianne to the way he looks at her…WOW. Everything about their relationship made me warm and fuzzy. The way Adam would simply look on as she flirted with a potential lover, his jealousy, stares, everything… I loved it!!!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I enjoyed meeting the widows and understanding their motives behind wanting to remained both unmarried and well-bedded. One of the widows irked be a bit though. Penelope and her talk of lovers and sex really got to me and I really thought she was all talk. I still look forward to reading her story though. There’s something about her. She’s definitely intriguing and I’m curious to know whether indeed she is as openly sexual as she appears. Also, I do hope we get to meet the man who reintroduced her to the joys of sex…a certain Alistair. So, wait…maybe I’m not too irritated by her. I certainly think her story will be an interesting one.
I was very smitten with Lord Rochdale, Adam’s friend. I love rakes and he’s definitely one. I hope the prudish Grace will “grace” his bed in future novels. One can only hope. Would be a challenge for him and she definitely needs someone who will open her up a bit (oh, gosh…no pun intended really).
I look forward to reading the rest of the widows’ stories. I cannot wait to get to know the rest of these fine ladies. Here’s to you, Candice. Avon will be sorry you left them!!!