Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I May Have To Marry The Guy, But I'm Not Going To Let Him Have His Way . . . "How To Tame A Willful Wife" by Christy English

1. Forbid her from riding astride

2. Hide her dueling sword

3. Burn all her breeches and buy her silk drawers

4. Frisk her for hidden daggers

5. Don't get distracted while frisking her for hidden daggers...

Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, expects a biddable bride. A man of fiery passion tempered by the rigors of war into steely self-control, he demands obedience from his troops and his future wife. Regardless of how fetching she looks in breeches.

Promised to the Earl of Plump Pockets by her impoverished father, Caroline Montague is no simpering miss. She rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. She finds Anthony autocratic, domineering, and...ridiculously gorgeous.  It's a charming re-telling of "The Taming of the Shrew" but in reality,who is taming whom?

She had always known she had to marry to save the family reputation from disaster over indebtedness. She had been trained to accept her fate as the daughter of an impoverished aristocrat, a man who had more than proven his worth in the Napoleonic Wars, but who had come home to empty coffers.  Now his closest friend was offering for his daughter and Caroline knew that her father was entrusting her future to a man he truly believed would hold her dear and treat her well.  What Caroline wasn't prepared for was having her heart engaged by the enchanting rogue or having to face his mistress of over 10 years.  Add in the almost insidious presence of the Viscount Carlyle who had ruined the earl's sister, and you have anger, tension, revenge and distress up to ying yang.

This historical romance begins as many others do with the arranged marriage of two people as a  .  Anthony was certainly attracted sexually to his bride and made no bones about that fact.  However, he was unprepared for the inroads to his heart that she made.  The biggest difficulty was her unwillingness to be a compliant and biddable bride, continuing on with her sword and knife training, her archery, and her insistence on riding out alone to visit tenants and visiting the local villages.  While she submits willingly in the bedroom, his autocratic commands on the other aspects of her life chafe and gradually cause a chasm in their marriage that doesn't appear to be able to be mended.  It is a delightful, saucy, sexy, carefully written and beautifully told story of a marriage between two very different people and two individuals who must reconcile their attraction to one another sexually with the demands of human relationship, the need for being partners in more than just bedroom antics, and the respect that must be present to keep balance in their marriage.

I really love historical romance and could read it non-stop.  I don't even mind that most of them follow a well-established format that is often quite predictable.  But when I encounter one that adds in the spice of the antics that drive the Countess Ravensbrook and which manage to slowly but surely enrapture her husband reluctantly, it is a novel that stands out as one most historical romance lovers will appreciate above and beyond the norm.  It was just recently released by Sourcebooks, Inc, and is one that I know begs to be read and enjoyed.  I highly recommend it as worthy of the time and effort of serious readers.  I'm very glad I had the opportunity to read and review it.  Please let me know if you have read it and what you thought.

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