Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Available: November 24th, 2020
Synopsis: The cure for a willful wife…
Drusilla Clare is full of opinions about why a woman shouldn’t marry. But that doesn’t stop the rush of desire she feels each time her best friend’s brother, notorious rake, Gabriel Marlington, crosses her path. So imagine her dismay when she finds herself in the clutches of a scoundrel, only to be rescued by Gabriel himself. And when Gabriel’s heartless—and heart-pounding—proposal comes, it’s enough to make Dru’s formidable resolve crumble…
…is a smitten husband.
She’s sharp-tongued, exasperating, and due to one careless moment—about to become his wife. Still, something about Drusilla has Gabriel intrigued. First there’s the delicious flush of her skin every time she delivers a barb—and then the surprising sensual feel of her in his arms. Gabriel even finds himself challenged by her unusual philosophies. And when he discovers a clandestine rival for Dru’s affection, his temperature flames even hotter. But the real threat to their happiness is one neither of the newlyweds sees coming. If they’re to save their future—and their very lives—they’ll need to trust in each other and their growing love.
I have to confess that for the first few chapters I thought Notorious was going to be the second book in a row that would turn out to be a disappointment. I thoroughly disliked the shrewish Drusilla, and after a brief scene where Algerian born Gabriel, victim blames (he almost immediately apologizes), her, I wasn’t overly fond of him either. But then, much to my surprise they started growing on me. What begins as a cold marriage of convenience realistically develops into a true love match which was pleasurable to follow. The secondary characters are equally interesting, notably the villainous Godric Fleming, Earl Visel. Having done his best to torture Gabriel from the beginning of the book, his backstory is revealed about halfway through, and it makes him much more complex and sympathetic. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book, Outrageous, which will feature him and Gabriel’s stepsister and Dru’s best friend, the impetuous Lady Eva de Courtney. Overall, Notorious is a thoroughly entertaining Regency romp with surprisingly diverse characters.