Format: .mobi (purchased)
Release Date: April 25, 2006
Impetuous Lady Jacinda Knight is the daughter of a scandalous woman. Though society predicts she’ll follow in her mother’s footsteps, the spirited beauty stands unashamed of her passionate nature. Then one night, in flight from a safe but loveless marriage arranged by her strict older brother, Jacinda finds herself alone on a dark and dangerous street face-to-face with Billy Blade, the notorious leader of a band of thieves. His stolen kisses awaken in her a longing for a man she can never possess.
A handsome scoundrel running from a secret past, Billy Blade has never met a woman like Jacinda–her fiery innocence and blossoming sensuality set his rebel’s heart ablaze. Having turned his back on the privilege and power of his tyrannical father’s house years before, he vows to return to his rightful place and reclaim his title, Earl of Rackford–to win the love of the ravishing beauty who has stolen his heart .
From the very moment that Lady Jacinda Knight meets up with the infamous Billy Blade, sparks fly and Lady of Desire takes readers on a wild, passionate ride!
I've been in love with Gaelen Foley's books for such a long time and I can talk about them for hours. Of the Knight Miscellany series, Lady of Desire is my favorite. Who could resist a secretive, rebellious heroine who meets her match in a dangerous gang leader with secrets of his own?
As young as she is, eighteen year old Jacinda has more intelligence and courage than most women in that time period and even though her plan to escape an arranged marriage backfires, she faces her situation with as much dignity as she can. I loved her spirited nature and though she had moments of acting like the sheltered child she still was, she never gave into childish tantrums or games. Jacinda was the right balance of child and young lady which was befitting her age and upbringing. Jacinda knew well enough that in her world, when a woman married she became her husband's property for him to do with as he wished and that thought was what terrified her and I could totally relate to her fear of losing herself to a man. Though she grew up extremely pampered and loved by her five older brothers, Jacinda longs to make her own way in life.
Billy has lived the exact opposite as life as Jacinda and has no problem giving her a reality check in the beginning of Lady of Desire. Billy shows Jacinda how "the other half lives" and tells her that in her world a stolen painting from a haughty aristocrat is more important to the police than a thirteen year old girl raped by a gang all because her father is poor and has no title. Even with his harsh words and brash attitude, there's a tender and vulnerable side to Billy that really got to me as a romance fan. Here he is, this rough and tough gang leader that yearns for someone to validate his life, to show him that he is not as worthless and weak as his cruel father claimed years ago. Instead of growing up to be callous and cruel, Billy grew into a dangerous man who protected the weak. He never tries bully Jacinda into accepting him, he's actually quite sneaky about getting her to talk to him but he never has the "Me man, You my woman" attitude. Billy totally owned me after only one chapter. He also has some of the most memorable lines in the book.
Often times I get annoyed when the heroine is such a sure thing for the hero. All he does is crook his finger and she comes running, all other suitors forgotten. The hero doesn't even have to work to get what he wants because he "knows she wants him" and he's so cocksure he'll get her in the end. Ugh, I hate that.
However, with Jacinda it was different. Billy knew she desired him and that she was curious about him but he was never completely sure if, in the end, Jacinda would marry him. He had to not only compete with the attention she got from other men but with her dream of freedom. It was humbling for a feared gang leader who's confidence was unmatched in the slums of London to suddenly find himself in unknown territory and with very little of that former confidence to guide him. It gave Lady of Desire a more unpredictable plot line because time and again Jacinda rebuffed Billy's advances and it looked like she wasn't ever going to give in and I just had to know what would make her give up her dream of freedom. This created a lot of angst between Billy and Jacinda and that to me ramped up the tension and growing affection the two have for one another. Every time Billy and Jacinda were together there was a sense of hopelessness about them. Billy was convinced that he would never be good enough for Jacinda to willingly give up her plans for her freedom.
After being firmly put in his place, Billy settles into a lust tinged friendship with Jacinda that was both sweet and funny. For me, Billy and Jacinda's friendship made their romance more real because they truly got to know each other and developed such a strong bond before taking that next step. Billy even got to know and care for Jacinda's best friend and lifelong companion, Lizzie. His tenderness towards Lizzie totally cemented his place on my list of "Swoon Worthy Heroes."
Final Verdict: Each of the Knight Miscellany books is special but Lady of Desire has that extra "something" that makes it both memorable and special. Oh and I want my own Billy Blade.