Saturday, April 27, 2013

Early Review of A Passion for Pleasure (Daring Hearts #2) by Nina Rowan

Author's Website:
Notes: Quotes will need to be checked against the final copy as I read an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of the book.

She (Clara) needed a husband.

He (Sebastian) needed a wife and money.

His brother needed the plans to a cipher machine, and he was willing to pay handsomely for it.

Her uncle had the plans somewhere in his workshop, and she would be willing let him 
have them for a price... 

"Sebastian, I wish to present you with a marriage proposition."

Luckily, they each have a passion for pleasure.

"In music, counterpoint involves independent melodic lines that harmonize when played together." Sebastian explained. "As in our situation, we can now give each other what we desire."


This is the second book in the Daring Hearts series by Nina Rowan. I did not read the first book, but didn't even realize this was the second book of a series until I went to write the review. Needless to say, you won't feel lost if you start with this book, but it's always nice to start with the first book of a series.

This was an extremely fun book. I loved that Clara's uncle created mechanical toys. In the first chapter we're introduced to Millicent, AKA the Musical Lady, who is one of many inventions of Clara's uncle Granville. Millicent is an automaton who plays four tunes on the harpsichord. What a fun profession and what a great uncle. When Clara's father pretty much disowns her, her Uncle Granville takes her in.

Clara is a smart, virtuous, and pretty young widow with unusual violet eyes. When Clara's husband, Richard, died he designated that custody of their son would go to Clara's father, Lord Fairfax. Knowing her father was in debt, however, Richard set up his wife's and son's inheritances so that her father couldn't touch them. Since her husband's death, her father has cut off all contact and communications with Clara. He believes she played a role in her husband's death. As a result, Clara has no contact with her son, Andrew, and is desperate to gain custody of him once more. Clara re-inherited Whitfield House, her family's estate which had been part of her dowry, upon her husband death. Unfortunately, the will stipulated she couldn't sell it or give it away. Her hope had been to trade the estate to her father in exchange for her son. Since she can't sell it outright, she hopes to marry so her future husband can arrange the exchange. Her new husband would inherit the property upon their marriage, and not be bound by the will's stipulations and could, therefore, trade the estate. 

Sebastian Hall is the second son of an Earl. He's charming, handsome, a lady's man, and a former concert pianist. His career recently came to a sudden halt due to either an injury or illness which affected his hand. He's told nobody and is trying to deal with what to do with his life. His father has recently given him two stipulations--one, he take a wife and two, she be the type to make him a better person. Marrying someone like Clara does satisfy his father's conditions, but she really wasn't what the earl had in mind. Lord Rushton had given Sebastian a list of women he thought would be suitable prospects. Clara, a woman who works for her uncle, had not made the list. While her pedigree is acceptable, a working woman is frowned upon. While it may seem he's caving in to his father's demands, Sebastian never does anything he doesn't want to and there is no doubt he wants Clara. 

Overall, I gave this book 4 out of 5 roses. A fun and sweet story. I enjoyed seeing this relationship crescendo from a mutual adoration into a full-blown romance/love affair. Clara managed to intrigue and endear herself to Sebastian in a short period of time by being herself. Besides her straight forwardness, I think Sebastian admired her for her deep devotion to her son, something his own mother had lacked for her children. Also, I loved how Sebastian ends up proving over and over, that in choosing him, Clara made one of the best decisions of her life. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:

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