Regina Hackett believes she is on the way to yet another recital with her cousin Miranda so she can be shown off to her best advantage as her fathers only goal for her is to marry no less than an earl for him. But when Miranda springs the idea of attending a masquerade ball, Regina is reluctantly talked into switching plans. After all, the freedom to just dance and be herself for just a bit of time is to hard to resist as she is tired of always being perfect for fear of her fathers wrath. While at the ball, she dances one magical dance with a dashing man and then takes a moonlight stroll and shares a forbidden kiss. But as the man whispers in French of all the naughty things he would like to do with her, her sanity returns and she quickly flees...only to find Miranda missing and in that quick moment, her life is changed forever.
Robin Blackthorn, better known as Puck, thinks he is out in the gardens sharing a passionate embrace with a lady of the night and is aghast when he realizes that the beauty he is with is an innocent. He decides to quickly forget her but when he learns that her cousin is missing and then proceeds to find signs of a struggle, he is drawn back to Regina. He knows that they can truly never be together, he is a bastard son of an earl and can not marry the daughter of wealthy merchant who is basically shopping Regina around for his own good. But he can not turn away from the situation involving Regina, especially as quite a few petite, blond young ladies have been disappearing off the streets. He believes these woman are being sold and reassures Regina that they will find Miranda unharmed as she is a virgin and therefore much more valuable. Together, they set out to find Miranda and must overcome many hurdles to the heart and to the body.
Overall, this was a good story that moved quickly along. I guessed the mystery aspect early on but the how and why still alluded me and had me flipping the pages. Kasey Michaels seems to have a knack for writing some creepy characters and this time it is Reginas absolutely dreadful father. Shudder. Crazy man. If you read the previous book in this series, The Taming of the Rake, you know we met Puck in that story and he was just a delight and I am happy to say his own story was a delight as well. Puck is just the sort of man we all wished we knew and loved. He's handsome with his slightly too long hair and mesmerizing eyes, he's funny and charming, but he is also strong, protective and steadfast. Together with Regina, who is also strong, stubborn and steadfast, they are good pairing. Regina is resigned to her fate laid out by her father, but she wants to remember one night of true passion with a man she desires and Puck tries to resist but sigh, they never can resist to long. But once again, the other brother almost stole the show (Puck almost stole Beaus story for me) and we learned and saw a bit more of the middle bastard brother, Black Jack, and I can not wait for his story now! If you enjoy a romance with a darker side story but still reads easily with a strong cast of characters that find a way to emerge from near tragedy, this is a great one to check out. 4 stars
I received this ebook from the publisher via netgalley.com
Blackthorn Brothers series
Can be read out of order but probably best enjoyed read in order of series
Much Ado About Rogues Release date Feb 2012