Merrimon Book Reviews

classic trick-taking card game played widely in the 18th and 19th centuries

1807 caricature engraved by Charles Williams after a drawing by Woodward, which presents an (exaggerated) contrast between  the fashion of 1740 and 1807. 
 A young Regency fashionable is juxtaposed here to a sedate middle-aged pre-Regency lady

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Tempting Fate
Tempting Fate by Alissa Johnson
by Alissa Johnson
Dynamic, witty and passionate Regency romance
Rich, handsome and honorable, Whittaker Cole, Earl of Thurston, is every woman's dream come true ---- every woman except Miss Mirabelle Browning, that is.  Compared to the upstanding debutantes of the ton marriage market, Mirabelle is an independent woman or a  hellborn spitfire from Whit's point of view.  Mirabelle and Whit have been at each other's throats for years.  They cannot be in the same room without the sparks starting to fly.  When the two finally decide to make a temporary truce, will they be able to restrain their hot tempers?   Whit is a man determined to preserve place of his honor before society and the ton.   Normally level-headed and above it all, Mirabelle sets him off, bringing out the energy of the boy within and the passion of the man within. 

Orphaned and controlled by her uncle's authority over her inheritance, Mirabelle sees herself as unmarriageable.  She has accustomed herself to her role at Haldon Hall, a veritable refuge from her uncle's unsavory character.  Whit, on the other hand, has his own reasons to look into the affairs of Mirabelle's uncle.  Can she stop the upstanding Earl of Thurston from finding out the secret she keeps about her family?  Or does fate have something else entirely planned for these passionate two?\

Alissa Johnson's Regency romance TEMPTING FATE tells the story of two characters introduced in her debut romance AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT.  Although fans will appreciate discovering the details and outcome of this pair, TEMPTING FATE also works as a stand-alone romance to newcomers to the series.  TEMPTING FATE reaches a new height.  The details are tighter, the energy of the romance more dynamic, and the suspenseful subplot raises the emotional effect of the subsequent tender moments.  As the series continues, Alissa Johnson strikes all the right chords for this romance and the series.  In her second book, Alissa Johnson shows her ability to just get better and better.

TEMPTING FATE is delightful romance from start to finish.  Passionate romance and intimate tenderness combine as these two unlikely lovers get to know each other and share their deepest secrets.  Restrained by the demands of modesty required by the period, small details like a clothing elicit passionate thoughts.  Mirabelle's independence and spunkiness provides a humorous contrast to the superficiality of the ton's marriage market and those irritating snobs who rejoice in the inferiority of others.  The witty repartees between Mirabelle and Whit make a reader laugh aloud at their cleverness and the pair's ability to give as well as they get.  Neither is an easy catch to subdue.  A reader feels the heat and even playfulness of their passion in their words as
the encounters fuel and deny the hot passion that each ignites in the other.  The sensual chemistry between Mirabelle and Whit leaps off the page.  As Mirabelle and Whit come closer and closer together with the little help from a playful matchmaker,  fear and passion evolve into trust and a deep love.  Drawn together in what some might consider the worst of circumstances, fate has a generous touch to destined lovers.  From these exact darker moments, a second chance at love fills their hearts with a love that is all the deeper once trust combines with passion.  TEMPTING FATE is a wonderful romance escape to a world filled with witty and dynamic dialogue, humorous encounters and above all a passion that no obstacle can deny.

Publisher: Dorchester - Leisure Books (February 2009)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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