Friday, March 6, 2015

More Than Passion by JoMarie Degioia

Geoffrey Kane, Earl of Kanewood refuses to feel anything more than passion. Four years ago, his fiancĂ©e betrayed him and he has no desire to experience that again so when he meets the beautiful Rebecca Kingsley, it’s passion at first sight. And only passion.

Rebecca has led a very quiet life working for her father at a small country inn. When she meets Geoffrey she falls in love with him right away. But she’s only the daughter of a baronet and men like Geoffrey never marry country girls like her. Do they?

When Rebecca’s father tries to marry her off to a wealthy old man, Geoffrey intervenes and marries her himself. He wants her very much but he couldn’t possibly love her. Love is for fools. At least that’s what he tells himself. But a sinister enemy soon threatens to destroy all that Geoffrey holds dear, forcing him to face the truth. His marriage depends on it . . . And maybe even Rebecca’s very life.
Published & Release Date: Lachesis Publishing May 1, 2012

Time and setting: 19th century Regency England 

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 3 Scorching Flames

Rating: 3.75 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

Geoffrey Kane, the Earl of Kanewood, meets with an accident when he loses a wheel on his traveling carriage. The wheelwright in the closest town has injured his hand and tells Geoffrey it will be several days before he can repair the wheel. The earl takes lodging at Raven’s Inn, a surprisingly elegant establishment in Oakham. He’s not particularly bothered by the delay because it will give him time to think about some disturbing issues that have come up regarding his estate. It looks like someone is stealing from him and he needs to find out who.

Geoffrey is immediately taken with the raven-haired beauty, the innkeeper’s daughter, Rebecca Kingsley. The next morning, when he meets Rebecca coming out of a shop with a picnic basket, he suggests they find a place and enjoy the food. While picnicking on the common, Geoffrey kisses her, unable to resist her allure. That night, he hears a knock on his door. It’s Rebecca in tears. Her father is planning to marry her off to the local doctor, a much older man. By this time the smitten earl will do whatever it takes to keep this from happening.

Even though Rebecca knows it’s wrong, she gives into the immense passion between her and Geoffrey and gives him her virginity. At least the horrid doctor would not get that, even if he does marry her.

The next day, Geoffrey overhears the innkeeper talking to Rebecca about the marriage and bursts in when her father raises his voice. He offers to marry her instead, but Rebecca refuses his offer. Geoffrey should feel relief over her refusal, after experiencing betrayal at the hands of his last intended. He doesn’t want to give his heart to another anyway, but he can’t get the image of them making love out of his mind.

When a tavern patron accosts Rebecca, Geoffrey steps in defending her honor. The doctor walks in and when he finds out the brawl happened because of Rebecca, he tells the innkeeper he withdraws the deal because she is too young and pretty for his sanity. Rebecca flees to her room and Geoffrey follows her, but again she spurns him.

The following evening Geoffrey imbibes too much ale and stumbles to Rebecca’s room. She helps him back to his room, and they immediately fall in lust and come together in a burst of passion again. They both fall asleep. When the chambermaid finds them together the next morning, he asks her to marry him again, and this time, Rebecca says yes to avoid a scandal. Can this passion that burns so bright grow into more, or will it burn out when they learn more about each other?

This story has moments of brilliance, yet at other times, it fails to deliver. As far as the characters, I liked Rebecca (can’t call her Becca, which is Geoffrey’s name for her, way too modern for a Regency) and thoroughly enjoyed Geoffrey. I totally bought why he had trust issues, based on what happened with his former betrothed. The plot twists are intriguing and the pacing kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. The sexual scenes are hot and the first half of the book is littered with them.

The story deepens about half way through the book, taking it from a light-hearted romp to a story of deceit and betrayal. From that point on, there is a lot more story and a lot less sex, capturing my attention on a deeper level. I was greatly surprised by who turned out to be the villain in this read. I never saw that coming.

I particularly enjoyed the scenes with the little girl, Ann, his brother’s daughter. I also thoroughly enjoyed Rebecca’s relationship with Geoffrey’s mother. I do struggle with how forgiving Rebecca is of Geoffrey’s lack of trust and of her parent’s abandonment. While the passion is fierce between the H/h, there is so much more between them, hence the title is a perfect fit.

Now for the reasons I gave this book 3.75 Gold Crowns. The story is a solid five, however some of the inconsistencies kept me from rating it higher. Other than the aristocratic titles and brief descriptions of clothing, the tone of this book is way too modern, much more suited for a contemporary piece. Everyone in the story immediately uses each other’s given names, even if they haven’t been given permission to do so.

The author uses the word hello a lot and that word was not around until the invention of the telephone. She refers to balls as bashes and also uses the words smashing and okay. None of these words were in existence in Regency England. I also have a problem with them falling into bed after only knowing each other a couple of days. I do realize this is supposed to be erotic, which it is, but the set up could have been better to make it more realistic for me.

Nonetheless, I enjoy a good Cinderella story and this is definitely an interesting read. I was entertained and isn't that what a book is supposed to do? I’m glad I took a chance on this story and will probably read future books in the series. There is depth to the story and the characters are well-developed. Happy reading!

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