Today I've got the second book in Nicole Jordan's latest trilogy, To Bed a Beauty (Ballantine). Roslyn Loring has known much unhappiness, but she still believes she can marry for love. She wants no part of a marriage of convenience as most of Society deems acceptable. Fortunately, she has a friend in the Earl of Haviland, and she hopes she can deepen their connection to love. But first, she goes with her courtesan friend to a Cyprian ball and meets up with Drew, Duke of Arden, who begins a pursuit of her in spite of his deep-rooted dislike of the institution of marriage and disbelief in deep emotions like love. Fortunately, Roslyn is also a practical young woman, and she understands that to keep her future husband home, she should learn the skills of a potential mistress, and Drew might be just the man to teach her how to manage that. Until they're compromised, which doesn't irritate Drew nearly as much as it should, or even would have mere weeks ago. For propriety's sake, they announce an engagement, but Roslyn is determined it's only temporary. Until she falls in love. But Drew doesn't intend to let her escape their betrothal: he wants Roslyn for his own, forever. A heated spat, however, pushes Roslyn to end their engagement, which leads Drew to realize how deep his feelings for her truly are. But can he win her back? This one was a quick, light read, with a believable spark of attraction between Drew and Roslyn from the beginning. But Drew didn't feel quite real to me as you'd hope for in a romance novel hero. Sure, he's attractive, and single-minded in his pursuit of Roslyn. But I didn't feel by the end as if I knew him as well as I should if I were to fall in love with him as Roslyn did. I expected more after all I've heard about Ms. Jordan's books. I'm sure fans will disagree with me, but I didn't find this one a keeper, I'm afraid. It was a nice way to spend a few hours, but ultimately, not spectacular. It's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!