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Friday, April 25, 2014

Review: A Shocking Delight by Jo Beverley

Format: Bound Copy (Provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: April 1, 2014

Lucy Potter, daughter of a wealthy merchant, is more interested in trade than in the men after her dowry. When forced to have a London season, she sets out to enjoy herself rather than to find a husband. But once she meets the notorious Earl of Wyvern, her resolve weakens, and when they kiss, it dissolves—even though her instincts warn he’s dangerous.

Wyvern has a dark secret, which means he must win a rich bride. Lucinda Potter seems ideal. Not for her beauty and her lively charm, but because at first meeting she seems unlikely to realize the truth.

As he comes to know her, however, as they spar and kiss, he realizes she’s too clever and honest by far. Marrying Lucy would mean living a lie with the woman he has come to love....

I had heard a lot about author Jo Beverley's books from her fans so I was eager to give A Shocking Delight a try.

In this opposites attract romance novel, the hero is someone that longtime fans will recognize. David Kerslake-Somerford goes from being the head of a smuggling ring to the very reluctant Earl of Wyvern. Adjusting to his new role while trying to hide his old one isn't easy. Adding to his frustration is his shortage of funds. He needs a rich wife ASAP, so, playing his role as an Earl, he begins to court Lucinda Potter.

Like David, Lucinda "Lucy" Potter is hiding who she really is. She's more at home in the world of merchant trading than in a ballroom but with her father insists that she go to London and find a husband, Lucy must pretend to be what she's not.

As many differences as there are between David and Lucy, they do have one major thing in common: They both hide who they are from every one else and don't easily trust others.

The overall plot of the story was interesting, two characters who cannot be true to themselves somehow find one another by sheer luck and try to make a life together all while keeping secrets from one another. I enjoyed Lucy's modern mind (modern for her time period that is), a woman who was not only interested in trade but was good at it. There was a good element of danger throughout the book that escalated towards the end and gave it a bit of a romantic suspense vibe.

While I enjoyed the plot and Lucy as a whole, I did have a few issues with this book. The biggest one was the reason for the length of the book. There are some really great moments in A Shocking Delight but I had to read through a lot of wordy scenes in between them. The book itself is a long one and while I don't mind a long book, I don't enjoy one that has too many words and scenes that don't really serve a purpose. Where 3 words would have sufficed, the author used 10 and very few of those words were used to really flesh out David and Lucy or their relationship. I wanted to see more of their relationship, the development of emotions and more passion between them. the potential for an explosive romance was there but it never quite reached that level.

Final Verdict: A Shocking Delight wasn't everything I had hoped it would be but it won't put me off from reading Jo Beverley's books in the future. Perhaps I'll start with her earlier books since fellow romance fans have insisted that her earlier books are must reads.

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