May 16, 2021 04:25 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
During the month of April, I read four full-length books and one novella, and out of those, there was only one romance that received five stars from me. It’s a historical by a favorite author that’s part of a favorite series. However, the fact that I gave it five stars is surprising even to me. The reason for this is that I first read it over a decade ago, and at that time, I only gave it four stars. I recently started re-reading the series and toyed with the idea of skipping this book since it hadn’t been a favorite the first time around, but I’m soooo glad that I didn’t. I didn’t recall the story very well, and as I was reading it, I was waiting for something to happen that would make my previous dropping of a star off the rating make sense, but it never did. I got all the way to the end and realized I’d thoroughly enjoyed it, so I went back to re-read my old review for it and ended up feeling like it had been written by another person. It was definitely a strange moment for me to say the least, because I can’t recall something like this ever happening to me before. My opinion of books from one reading to the next don’t typically change all that much. I’m not sure what happened between then and now, but in any case, I obviously had a totally new outlook on it that now gives me a “newfound” great reading recommendation to pass along.
Jacinda is an independent miss who runs away from her wealthy aristocratic family to avoid a loveless marriage to an old family friend. While waiting for a carriage at the posting inn, she offers a few coins to a ragged street urchin who manages to abscond with her entire purse. Having no other money to pay for passage to her destination, Jacinda boldly chases the little thief into the dark alleyways of London where she becomes lost. After nearly ending up in the middle of a gang fight, she’s rescued by Billy, a handsome, charming ne'er-do-well who had once visited her spy brother with vital underworld information. When he discovers her true identity, he insists upon returning her safely home, but not before they give in to their mutual attraction just enough for Jacinda to discover her passionate side. Angry about her escape plan being foiled and afraid that one day she might turn into her scandalous mother, she desires her freedom above all else, and in an attempt to gain it, she hatches a scheme to earn the attentions of an elderly gentleman in hopes that he will marry her and then quickly leave her a widow. However, Billy suddenly appears in her world, and she can’t resist offering to help turn him into a true gentleman. His presence tempts her at every turn but can she give up on her schemes for independence to make room in her life for the one man who would never bore her? Jacinda is part sweetheart, part spitfire. She’s a strong, bold heroine who knows what she wants out of life and isn’t afraid to go after it, but at the same time, she can be very gentle and intuitive when it comes to Billy and what he’s going through. I liked how kind and supportive she is toward him, and although she schemes to catch the elderly lord, I understood her reasons and felt it was always clear that Billy was the one she really wanted.
Billy is the secret son of an aristocrat who abused him all throughout his childhood. At thirteen, after a particularly brutal beating, he’d had enough and ran away, ending up on the streets of London in a gang. He rose through the ranks to become a talented thief lord who robs from the rich to help the poor living in the slums. When he discovers Jacinda in his territory, he feels honor-bound to look out for her, especially after he learns that she’s the youngest sister of a man he’s helped before. Once he’s returned her to her family, though, Billy knows he’ll likely never see her again, but then he and his men are arrested while robbing a house and thrown into Newgate prison. He cares nothing for his own life, but he’s loyal to his men, and the only way he can save them from the hangman's noose is by appealing to his powerful father who agrees to help but only if Billy returns to the fold, takes up his rightful place as heir, and marries as soon as possible. Billy agrees, but it doesn’t stop him from sneaking back to his old life long enough to settle a few old scores. However, now a respectable gentleman in need of a wife, the only woman he wants is Jacinda, but can he persuade her away from her reckless course and get her to accept him as the one man who’ll love her for the rest of her days? This second time around, I utterly adored Billy. He’s a scrumptious bad boy who oozes charm, and I thoroughly enjoyed the sly, cunning way he exacts revenge on his old gang rivals. Most of all, though, I love how vulnerable he is with Jacinda and how loving and giving he is toward her, pulling out all the stops to convince her that they’re meant for each other.
I honestly don't know why I viewed this story so differently now than the first time I read it, but I very much enjoyed re-reading it and saw so much more in both the plot and the characters this time around. Billy was a carefree charmer who reminded me of Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time, but at the same time showed depth and vulnerability. Jacinda is a young woman who is so afraid of becoming her faithless mother that she’s set herself on a reckless course, but then Billy comes along to show her that true happiness is within her grasp. I loved them together and thought they were perfect for one another. I had so much fun re-reading their story, and everything taken together made me raise my rating a full star to a perfect five. That’s why I’m naming Gaelen Foley’s Lady of Desire as my April Book of the Month. If you enjoy a yummy bad boy paired with a feisty heroine in an emotional, heartfelt, steamy, and romantic story, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
Impetuous Lady Jacinda Knight is the daughter of a scandalous woman. Though society predicts she'll follow in her mother's footsteps, the spirited beauty stands unashamed of her passionate nature. Then one night, in flight from an arranged and loveless marriage, Jacinda finds herself alone on a dangerous street face-to-face with Billy Blade, the notorious leader of a band of thieves. His stolen kisses awaken in her a longing for a man she can never possess.
Read my complete review of Lady of Desire.
If you would like to win a copy of Lady of Desire to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon or B & N). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Gaelen Foley