06 March 2013

Romeo Oh Romeo

Book Title: Lover Be Mine
Author: Nicole Jordan
Publisher: Ballantine Books, May 28, 2013
Series: Legendary Lovers #2
Source: Netgalley

From New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan comes this Romeo and Juliet-like story-the scorching second book in her wickedly sexy Legendary Lovers regency romance series, following Princess Charming.

When Lord Jack Wilde's cousin tries to match him with Lady Sophie Fortin, he isn't too thrilled by the prospect since Sophie's family has long feuded with the Wildes. Nevertheless he attends a masquerade ball in disguise and when he meets Sophie, he's drawn to her. The attraction is mutual-until she learns who he is. Angry that Jack has tricked her into lowering her guard under false pretenses, Sophie declares she doesn't ever want to see him again. But then Jack shows up in unexpected places, driving her crazy with his seductive advances. She doesn't want her parents finding out that she even knows him, let alone succumbed to his passionate kisses. If her father discovers Jack courting her, blood could be shed. Yet, Sophie still wants him and realizes that in order for the star-crossed lovers to be together, they must try to somehow settle the bitter feud between their families once and for all.

The Wilde cousins are back! After their successful matchmaking scheme in Princess Charming, Kathe and Skye are back. This time, Jack is the center of their project and he's about to portray Romeo in his love tale.

Two households, both alike in dignity, 
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, 
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, 
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.  

Their family has been locked in a 3-generation blood feud when a member of the Wilde household dueled with one of the Fortins which resulted in a blood shed that made Sophie's father, Oliver lost the barony.

Jack Wilde A.K.A Romeo
He's a lovechild of a noblewoman and a prince of a foreign land. His mother died early and at very young age and he was left to fend for himself. His father, the prince has already fled the country. His childhood, after the death of his mother was inconceivable until he was saved by his uncles and brought him to London and adopted them as their own.

He's a rake of the first order, and he eats like his stomach is an empty pit. (Yes, orally fixated as a result of his childhood days). He has fears he wasn't really proud of. He also has secrets, secrets that he haven't shared with anyone not even his family.

After Kaye & Skye's successful matchmaking with Ash & Maura, they were relentless in finding him a suitable bride. To stop his female relations from hounding him - he finally decided to meet Sophie Fortin for himself. What he didn't expect is to find someone who could knock the air out of his lungs.

He still wasn't convinced he was his match, yet he's willing to give it a try.

But Sophie isn't hearing any of his pleas until he bares his soul to her. The thing is, Jack is a close book and like to keep his personal feelings to himself.

If this one kiss would determine his fate, he intended to make it unforgettable.

Sophie Fortin A.K.A. Juliet
But I am supposed to turn my back on my family simply because you have a whim to test a fantastical theory about legendary lovers?

Sophie is about to get a proposal from the Duke of Dunmore, and she was going to accept it, for her parent's sake. They weren't nobility, and they were just relying on the generosity of Mrs. Pennant, Sophie's Aunt. Sophie felt she owed this to her parents, especially that her father was denied with the barony. Marrying the duke would make her a duchess, thus elevating their social standing in the society.

And here comes Jack - who was willing to marry her - to the extent of accepting the offer of being the sole heir of his father. But Sophie wanted more. She didn't like being his damsel in distress to his knight-in-shining armor syndrome. If she is likely to go into a loveless marriage, she'd wed Dunmore.

Mrs Pennant, The Accomplice
She's the character besides the Wilde cousins that had caught my attention in this novel. She's Sophie's loving aunt and I loved her too. Yep, she's the cool aunt - the one that wants what's the best for you and would gladly give it to you even if your parents wouldn't like it.

She wanted Sophie's happiness, and she believed Jack can give it to her. So, she gladly helped Jack with his plans.

Legendary Lovers?
I spent half of the novel thinking: why in the world would these people forced the "legendary lovers" to be the theme of their love stories? And oh, it's Romeo and Juliet - maybe they forgot that this tale ended in a tragedy?

At first, I didn't like the idea that Jack was relentlessly wooing her because of the legendary lovers thing. When an idea is pushed towards your direction and is often reiterated to you - you seem to think that this could be a good idea and you will act upon it on your own. It's a good thing that there was an attraction between the two when they met - or else it would be just weird.

Finally, I was relieved when the Romeo-Juliet thing was nowhere to be found in the chapters that followed. Rather, Nicole Jordan worked her magic on romance as two star-crossed lovers found their way into each other's hearts. Jack wins her heart by finally making amends with his past and moving on, being honest about his emotions and finally opening up to her. Good thing our Juliet isn't willing to quit that easy, even if Romeo tried to drive her away.

Favorite Quotes:
  • “Abduction is a romantic expression of passion.” 
  • “She wanted love and passion and lightning bolts in her marriage - the sweet fire only Jack could give her.” 
  • “My capitulation wasn't dependent on a legend or a Shakespearean play, however. You were the reason I fell in love, sweet, precious Sophie." His gazed softened. "How could I help but love you? I feel joy just being with you. I feel pleasure at the sound of your voice...” 

About The Author

New York Times bestselling author Nicole Jordan spins delightful tales that simmer with passion and sensuality. In her former life, Nicole grew up as an Army brat, moving frequently and attending high school in Germany. She later earned a civil engineering degree from Georgia Tech and spent eight years as a manufacturing manager making disposable diapers and toilet tissue! Currently Nicole lives in the Rocky Mountains of Utah with her real-life hero (her husband) and beloved kids (her horses).

With over two-dozen historical romances to her credit and four million books in print, set in numerous eras and locales, Nicole now enjoys chronicling the sparks that fly when Regency lovers play the matrimonial mating game.

One of her novels had the dubious honor of being humorously spotlighted by Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show." On a more serious note, Nicole's romances regularly appear on numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today, and have earned such honors as RITA finalist, RWA's Favorite Book of the Year, the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Historical Romance, and the Dorothy Parker Award of Excellence, presented by a group of over one hundred romance reviewers.

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Thank you Netgalley and Ballantine for providing me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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