Monday, July 16, 2012

The Mad Lord's Daughter by Jane Goodger

Melissa Atwell spent the last eighteen years of her life never leaving her suite of rooms due to her fathers belief that she would contract a disease and die, leaving him all alone in the world.  When her beloved father suddenly passes, she is left in the care of her uncle and brought to London to begin her first foray into society.  No one, including her uncles son, John, and her chaperone, Lady Diane, expected the deep fear that Melissa would have to step out into the real world.  She has never touched anyone or been touched without the barrier of gloves, never seen a baby, felt a snowfall....everything that most people take for granted.  They alter their plans and retire to the country estate to gradually build up Melissa's tolerance and fine tune her wonderful education but with the threat about the true nature of her birth just waiting to be exposed, it becomes imperative that Melissa get settled with a husband to protect her.

John knows his duty is to protect Melissa and help her in any way he can but as they spend more and more time together, he can't help but be drawn to this unique beauty.  As he knows the truth about her birth, he strives to protect her while his heart quickly becomes lost to her.  However, as society believes them to be first cousins, he knows his feelings can not be acted upon so he sets about to find her the perfect suitor amongst his friends.  As his close friend quickly falls for Melissa as well, this makes John see red at every opportunity and just when he finally decides to stand up for what he wants, it looks like he might be too late.  It will take a bold act of courage for John and Melissa to stand up for what they truly want and hope to find happiness in their love.

This book was like reading a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed it!  I loved the circumstances surrounding Melissa's upbringing as you never really think how much people take for granted in life.  Can you imagine watching it snow from your window but never feeling it against your cheeks?  And all the times a gentleman helps a woman by offering his arm...all the touching that she was so scared to do had to be overcome gradually.  Melissa was warm, bright, affectionate and fun and a wonderful character to read.  When she was around John, she just shined and I adored how John was always there to help her though all of society's rules and demands.  I was a bit hesitant at first about the first cousins situation but it is quickly sorted out and I could breathe a bit easier!  I loved the secondary characters that were introduced in this book and I hope they all receive their own stories because what we glimpsed here was great.  There is also a secondary romance between Melissa's uncle and chaperone that added a bit of fun and sass.  So while the storyline basis of illegitimacy is nothing new in historical romance land, the way this one was told and all the circumstances made this a unique read for me.   If you enjoy delightful romances filled with wonderful characters that you grow to care for mixed with just a dash of intrigue and a bit of heat, Jane Goodger has a book for you and I know I can't wait for more!  4 stars

Review copy provided by Kensington Books, thanks!

Other books by Jane Goodger
Marry ChristmasA Christmas ScandalA Christmas Waltz (Christmas, #3)When a Duke Says I Do

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