Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Accidentally In Love

Published: February 1st, 2012
Secrets of an Accidental Duchess (Donovan Sisters # 2)
By: Jennifer Haymore
ISBN-13: 9780446573153

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.


   Olivia Donovan has always been treated with caution by her family, due to an illness (malaria) that has plagued her since her childhood days in Antigua.  Olivia is kind, gentle and an obedient daughter - but she also has a passion for life and wishes should could be treated like everyone else.  Men want wives who are strong and can give them heirs, so Olivia expectes to never marry and as such makes no effort towards men at all.  Until Max, the Marquis of Halsey, comes into her life and turns her vows of celibacy upside down.  What she isn't aware of is that Max has signed a wager that he can seduce her with a rival noble, Fenwicke, who is angry that his own attempts to seduce Olivia failed (not to mention that he's married and a total rake).  Can Olivia and Max have a meaningful relationship, despite her illness and his somewhat less than pure foundation?  Will Fenwicke have his revenge for being spurned?  This was a fun book, that dealt with some serious issues.  Serena (the oldest, going by their dead sister Meg's name) is happily married and expecting, but suffers a miscarriage.  Jessica Donovan befriends a reclusive neighbor, only to learn that she is Fenwicke's wife and he abuses/rapes her on a regular basis.  The love story between Olivia and Max is mostly light-hearted with a little bit of a wrench thrown in the works when respectively her malaria flares up, and she finds out that it all started because of a bet.  Fenwicke was a truly sinister and love-to-hate villain - the best kind!  The book went fairly fast and the plot never really stalled in my opinion, except in how fast Olivia and Max become sexually intimate.  I feel like it was rushed and Olivia was far more blase than a woman of her times would have been, especially one as sheltered and ill as her.  Overall, a good read and one that carries the series along past the sophmore curse.

VERDICT:  3.75/5  Stars

* I received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via NetGalley. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book was published February 1st, 2012.*

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