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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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Heiress for Hire
Madeline Hunter
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Stephen King
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Kyraryker’s quotes

"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Revenge, thick outershells, personal demons, and bonding

Once More, My Darling Rogue - Lorraine Heath

3.7 stars


Late to the party on this one again and with the wonderful reviews already out there, I'm just going to put up the quotes I liked from the book with a few thoughts.

“We just don’t know each other very well I suppose.”

And so begins the story of Drake Darling and Lady Ophelia Lyttleton, two individuals who circle and attack each other because something of the other calls out to them. Ironically, it takes lies and deceit (Drake lies to Ophelia while she has amnesia telling her she is a servant) to start the crumbling of the high thick walls their personal demons have erected.

“You think what he did is a reflection on you?” Drake asked quietly.

What drives Ophelia's ice queen persona also takes away her perceived self worth. In the beginning, Ophelia's snooty elitist attitude puts the reader’s sympathies strongly with Drake but as this isn't my first rodeo in romanceland I couldn't help thinking there was something behind her rude actions. There is and it will break all your hearts and along with Drake as we get to know Ophelia more, we begin to understand her more. Drake's handling of the situation and words are so raw and beautiful, he refuses to let Ophelia hide and in doing so helps to wash away the shame she has covered herself in.

“If you’re going to grace me with a touch, I don’t want you wearing gloves.”
“I’m not going to touch you, I’m not—” He peeled off her glove, tossed it aside, and returned her palm to his jaw.
“Much better,” he said, raising his eyes to hers. The desire smoldering in his gaze arrowed straight through her, down to her toes, causing them to curl. And he was right. It was so much better to touch, skin to skin.

The restrain, repressing, or what have you that had to be observed during this time period is probably why I enjoy reading it so much. The spark of when skin to skin of a simple touch of the hands occurs never fails to disappoint.

He stroked his thumb over her lower lip. “You can say no at any time and I’ll stop.” He freed the button at her collar. “Anytime you become uncomfortable. Whether it be the releasing of a button, the untying of a ribbon, you need only say no or wait or stop. Your command is mine to obey.” Another button loosened. Another. Another. She didn’t.

I loved the tension of this couple in the beginning, their weariness of each other. The middle part did get long as "Phee" was a housekeeper trying to housekeep and Drake self flagellated over his lying. If the middle had been edited down about 10% I think it would have kept the pace up in the story. At about the 80% mark I couldn't put the book down as things really started to heat up with the past being revealed and Ophelia regaining her memory. I was on the verge of tears for most of the ending because of the quality of writing and how Ms. Heath brought realism to her characters and their relationship.

Not a question, but a command. It was his way. As it was hers. One didn’t ask when one thought the answer might be no, although why in the world he would think she wouldn’t marry him was beyond her. “How can you want me knowing all you know about me?” she asked.
“How can I not?”
They were no longer dancing, but standing in the midst of dancers with his large gloved hands, his wonderful large, scarred, powerful hands cradling her face as though it were made of the most delicate spun glass.
“How can you love me knowing what you know of me?” he asked.
Tears stung her eyes as she smiled. “How can I not?”

At the start I couldn't wait for Ophelia to get her comeuppance, I anticipated a snarky sassy throw down with Ophelia being humbled at the end. Instead what emerged were two extremely guarded individuals who through a touch of fate and revenge were stripped of their outer shells, creating an ending that was emotionally heartbreaking as it was beautiful.