The Greatest Lover Ever
By Christina Brooke
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Georgie Black has done a lot of maturing in six years. She leads a much more circumspect life and even though her looks still draw men to her like bees to honey, she's grown into her power and doesn't abuse it as a young girl would. She's managed to successfully avoid her former bethrothed...until she goes looking for her younger sister at a party thrown by Beckenham's notorious cousin and finds herself locked into a room with the only man to ever own her heart.
Marcus, the Earl of Beckenham has managed to avoid Georgiana Black, the woman who jilted him, for six years. But now, just as he makes the decision to seek a wife - a quiet, biddable wife - fate sees fit to bring Georgie back into his life. Beautiful, lush, stubborn, intelligent Georgie, who is about as far from biddable as possible. The attraction is still there. The desire is still there. So is the stubbornness. And the pride. But Beckenham is older. Wiser. As is Georgie. Will the second time around bring them the happiness for which they both yearn or will an enemy from their past come between them once again?
I love second-chance stories, especially the ones where characters are too young the first time around and re-connect years later after life's experiences have 'seasoned' them. I love this couple. They were made for one another and I was in their corner from beginning to end. That doesn't mean that I didn't become frustrated with both Georgie and Marcus at times but that's what makes them so real. They have flaws and lessons yet to learn before the author is finished with them. Their journey to a happy ending is realistic for them, even when Georgie, who believes Marcus will never love her, encourages him to look in a different direction. It breaks her heart to do so but she feels she's doing the right thing for him and for someone else who means the world to her. It's a rocky road to love for these two but that makes the arrival at their final destination all the sweeter.
I've really enjoyed the books in Brooke's Ministry of Marriage series and connected Westruther series. The writing is fresh and well-paced, with witty dialog, chemistry that sizzles and characters so real they fairly leap from the page. I've grown to care about these people and am fully invested in what happens to them. As soon as I finish one book in the series, I find myself counting the days/weeks/months until the next. While I enjoy reading a series in order, Brooke has written the books to be read either as part of the series or as a stand-alone so I don't think it will have a negative impact on your enjoyment if you begin with The Greatest Lover Ever. However, if you're like me, as soon as you finish this book you'll be off to buy the ones that preceded it!