Author: Julie Anne Long
Provided Synopsis: The Scandal Sheets call him Lord Ice.
Ruthless, cold, precise, Julian Spenser, Marquess Dryden, tolerates only the finest– in clothes, in horseflesh, in mistresses. And now he’s found the perfect bride, the one whose dowry will restore his family’s shattered legacy and bring him peace at last: the exquisite heiress Lisbeth Redmond.
She’s about to play with fire…
But one unforgettable encounter with Lisbeth’s paid companion, Phoebe Vale, and the Marquess is undone. This quiet girl with the wicked smile and a wit to match is the first person to see through the icy facade to the fiery man beneath. But their irresistible attraction is a torment as sweet as it is dangerous, for surrendering to their desire could mean losing everything else they ever wanted.
Review: Sometimes authors allow this amazing thing to happen where the hero and heroine of the story are perfect for one another and the attraction can not be denied. But then, and even better, there is no instant-love because the author understands the importance of allowing her characters to know each other and to build up tension. So when they fall in love, and as all unravels to the end, the reader is invested in these characters and their story, and gosh — this story was so romantic that I am giddy in the aftermath.
Though they come from different backgrounds, Phoebe and Julian are cursed by society’s picture of them. Both want to be understood, comforted, and known, and they can only find what they need with each other. He says that nobody ever speaks to him the way she does; she realizes that nobody has ever taken the time to learn about her like he does. The tension between them was so intense and is why this story is such a page-turner. Their dialogue is some of the best I have ever read in this genre. I believed in their attraction, I believed the relationship had organically developed to be true — I honestly could not get enough of the two of them when they were together.