Drawn to the Marquess (Imperfect Lords #2) by Bronwen Evans
Series: Imperfect Lords #2
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
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Destined to go blind, a rake sets his sights on the toast of society, lighting a fire of passion that scorches the night, in this captivating novel from USA Today bestselling author Bronwen Evans.
Stephen Hornsby, the Marquess of Clevedon, has one goal: to see every exquisite thing he can before he goes blind. His greatest joy, watching a woman shuddering in the throes of passion, will be gone. But before the darkness descends, he is determined to seduce a magnificent widow, Lady Penelope Fisherton. Unfortunately, his rakish reputation has preceded him; Lady Penelope spurns his advances. Being a man who relishes a challenge, however, her reluctance adds only luster to his desire for the last beautiful sight he’ll ever see.
Considered the belle of London society, Lady Penelope was married to a scoundrel who cared for no one but himself. Now that she’s free, she wants nothing to do with love, passion, or desire—emotions that abandoned her with a cruel husband. So why does her body react when Stephen smiles? As much as she’d like to avoid the rogue, her brother-in-law wants her fortune, and he’ll kill to get it. Stephen is willing to help, but he’ll take only one thing in return: Her. In his bed.
Penelope Fisherton’s husband died under suspicious circumstances. His brother, the one who will inherit the title, is saying that Penelope had a hand in it. He’s mostly saying that because if Penelope is found guilty, he will inherit all the money that was left to her and not him. Penelope enlists the assistance of Stephen Hornsby to investigate.
Stephen is a man who is tormented. He is slowly going blind and hates it. He wants to appreciate all of the beauty he can before he can’t see any longer. When he sees Penelope he’s intrigued by her. When he finds out that she’s bidding on a painting that he wants, he’s even more intrigued. When they finally meet Stephen is besotted with her beauty. He agrees to help her investigate her husband’s death if she will allow him the opportunity to seduce her. She feels that she can never be seduced but she’s wrong.
I was pretty excited to read this book because, flawed hero, right? Sadly, I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. There were many things about the book that I didn’t care for, but the main issue was that I felt nothing for the heroine and the hero together. There was no spark, not emotion – even when they were supposedly falling for each other. I have a big problem with emotionless romance books – it can’t be just me. I also had issue with the fact that the big conflict in the story was that Stephen knew that Penelope was keeping something from him and lying to him, but when he gets proof that she lied he’s totally upset and pissed off. Why was he so shocked? He knew she was lying all along. Sure, you probably hoped she wasn’t but come on, you kept thinking it, why would you be so pissed off when you get proof positive? It was ridiculous.
The story took a turn that I wasn’t expecting, and I didn’t care for it. I’ve read a string of books lately where the previous husband was a control freak and/or an abuser of some sort – emotional/verbal as well as physical. One of the parts of this book was that Penelope was set on having her independence and therefore didn’t want to get caught up with Stephen. She wanted her independence because her dead husband was such a shit. Makes sense, but I felt that the author made the dead husband way worse than he needed to be only to justify the heroine wanting her independence. There are lots of ways to make a heroine a strong, independent woman without making her an abuse victim. Maybe it’s just me who thinks that.
In the end I just didn’t care for the book. It dragged at times and I couldn’t like it in the end.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5