Monday, January 17, 2011

Review - - How to Woo a Reluctant Lady

How to Woo a Reluctant Lady
Hellions of Halstead Hall – Book 3
By Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: January 18, 2011







Nine-year-old Minerva Sharpe gave her heart to eighteen-year-old Giles Masters the day of her parents’ funeral when he held her hand throughout the entire service. On her nineteenth birthday, after being shaken by a kiss that Minerva blackmailed him into bestowing, Giles coldly walked away from her, unknowingly leaving her tender heart in pieces. That was the day that Minerva Sharpe declared war on Giles Masters.

Nine years later…

Opinionated, outspoken and firmly on the shelf, Minerva Sharpe is a walking, talking scandal. The successful author of gothic novels that she insists on publishing under her real name, Minerva is not about to cave to her grandmother’s scheme to marry off the Sharpe siblings and is full of ideas to thwart her. Her latest, however is about to backfire on her…big time. When Minerva advertises for a husband in The Ladies Magazine, she anticipates the resulting hoardes of men vying for the hand of an heiress will finally convince her grandmother to toss in the towel. What she never could have anticipated is the appearance of the man who broke her young heart, provided the inspiration for the villain of her books and, now, appears intent on marrying her!

As a young man, determined to bring to justice the man who engineered his father's financial ruin and suicide, Giles Masters stole documents from a member of the ton, only to be caught in the act by Minerva Sharpe.  That night was the beginning of a double life for Giles.  For the next nine years, he built a successful law practice by day while drinking, gambling and carousing his way through London by night, effectively demolishing his reputation while secretly gathering information for the Home Office and never giving another thought to the fact that Minerva could bring it all tumbling down.  He had sworn her to secrecy, after all.  But now, when his undercover work is drawing to a close and he's a strong candidate for appointment as a King's Counsel, he discovers that his dreams could all come to a screeching halt...at Minerva's hands...when it's pointed out to him how much he, and his actions, resemble the villain in her books.  If that early theft, or any of his subsequent actions, should become public knowledge, his future is over...but there's a way out.  He strikes a bargain with Minerva:  pretend to be her fiance to circumvent her grandmother's edict that she marry.  Minerva is certain that the older woman will never agree to a marriage with a scoundrel like him!  But there's more to Giles than meets the eye, as Minerva begins to discover the more time they spend together, including the fact that "pretend" is a word that only exists in Minerva's vocabulary and "scoundrel" doesn't apply to Giles at all.

This is the third book in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and, while I've enjoyed all three books, this one is my favorite so far.  The hero and heroine are both smart, savvy and successful people in their own right and, while they both are just fine on their own, together they become so much more.  I find it refreshing that the reluctant partner in this couple is the woman and it's so much fun to watch Giles court Minerva and bring her around to the idea of marriage.  Believe me, she doesn't make it easy on him!  Also, both Minerva and Giles are multi-layered characters and I appreciated the care taken by Jeffries in slowly peeling away their layers and allowing us to come to know them fully as they gradually come to know one another.  The book is also infused with Jeffries' witty banter, humor, non-stop action and sizzling sensuality.   It's a continual delight, from beginning to end, and Giles and Minerva just may end up being one of my favorite couples of the year.   

The mystery surrounding the death of Minerva's parents continues to be an important part of each book with more clues uncovered by Minerva and Giles during their story.  Also, in this book, we catch up with the heroes and heroines of the first two books and gain more insight into the remaining two Sharpe siblings as well as clues to the identities of their potential mates. 

Many times, books within a series will stand on their own but, in this case, I strongly recommend that you read the books in this series in order:  The Truth About Lord Stoneville, A Hellion in Her Bed and How to Woo a Reluctant Lady.

26 comments:

  1. I have yet to read a book by Sabrina Jeffries and that will definitely be changing soon! I have heard such great things about this series, so I will be checking these out! Thanks for the review, PJ!! :)

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  2. I love series like this. I know I can expect a good story if Sabrina Jeffries is the author. This type of series is one of the reasons I wait until all books are out before starting them. I like the characters and story arc to be fresh when I go from one book to the next.

    Thanks for the review.

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  3. I love Sabrina Jeffries's stories but I am so behind on reading them I do have them all I buy them as soon as they are released. It will be a real treat to be able to sit down and read them all pretty much one after the other.

    Great review PJ.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  4. Great review! This one is already on my TBB list for Sabrina Jeffries and Paul Marron (cover model).

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  5. I've read every book by Sabrina Jeffries and also will continue doing so. I've loved every single one of them. And this latest series is just as good. I enjoyed your review. review

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  6. Oh Trisha, you have so much terrific reading ahead! As I said in my review, I strongly recommend you read this series in order. You'll enjoy it so much more!

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  7. Librarypat, I wish I had your willpower. I've tried many times to wait until all the books of a series are released but I usually cave by the second or third book. Then I end up re-reading the earlier books before each release. lol!

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  8. Helen, I hope you enjoy all of them!

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  9. Sheree, he's very yummy, isn't he? A good cover choice for Giles!

    Sabrina posted photos of her inspiration for Giles at The Goddess Blogs yesterday - a very delicious Dylan McDermott!

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  10. Thanks, Carol! I'm glad you enjoyed the review. "Woo" is right near the top of my favorites of all the books Sabrina Jeffries has written.

    I'm eagerly anticipating the last two books in this series. I have the feeling that Celia is going to be just as much fun as Minerva's turned out to be!

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  11. Thx for the review !!! Iwas waiting for it ;-)

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  12. Fabulous review, PJ! This definitely sounds like a must buy book for me.

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  13. I have yet to read a book by Sabrina Jeffries and that will definitely be changing soon!

    Really, Trisha? I'm surprised you have missed her. I think you will really enjoy her backlist.

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  14. Thx for the review !!! Iwas waiting for it ;-)

    You're welcome, Emmanuelle! Good to see you here. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

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  15. Fabulous review, PJ! This definitely sounds like a must buy book for me.

    Thanks, Buffie! This one is right up your alley. I think you're going to like it a lot! :)

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  16. Terrific review, PJ! It's been awhile since I read an SJ novel, but I might need to rectify that soon. And how can anyone resist that cover??

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  17. I can't wait to read this book! I read the first book and loved it.
    Margay

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  18. Another great review, PJ! I haven't read the first two books in this series yet, so now I can indulge myself and read the three back to back. Yay!

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  19. Another of my auto-buys, I am really loving this series. Is this not the one where there is a mystery to be solved?

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  20. Your reviews always make me even more impatient for the books, PJ, and this is one I've been eagerly awaiting. A reunion theme, a writer heroine, and a Sabrina Jeffries book--all things I adore. And I agree that this series has been a particularly good one.

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  21. Don't forget the second book, Margay! A Hellion in Her Bed (Sept. 2010) is Jarret Sharpe's story.

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  22. Gannon, you're in for three times the fun! :)

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  23. Is this not the one where there is a mystery to be solved?

    It is, Dianna! Everyone has always thought that the Sharpe siblings' mother shot and killed their father then turned the gun on herself but little bits and pieces of information have been surfacing that suggest that might not have been the case.

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  24. Aw, thank you, Janga. I take that as a high compliment coming from you. I hope you enjoy this one!

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  25. I cannot wait to read this, thanks for the great review, I also enjoyed the other two books in this series!

    Have read some of her backlist too, adore her writing! And her heroes...*swoon*

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  26. Great review PJ....I am actually reading it now and have loved the entire series. I am actually a big Sabrina Jeffries fan and she is an auto-buy for me.

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