Author: Julie Anne Long
Provided Synopsis: Now or Never…
It’s the last chance for Cynthia Brightly, the ton’s most bewitching belle. Driven out of London by a secret scandal, she must find a grand husband at the Redmonds’ house party before word of her downfall spreads all over England. Unfortunately, someone at Pennyroyal Green is already privy to the whispers of broken engagements and dueling lovers: Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and—thanks to his brother’s disappearance—heir to the family’s enormous fortune.
Miles set his sights on Cynthia once, at a time when the ambitious beauty thought herself too good for a second son. But now he’s heir apparent, relishing his control. He strikes a bargain with her: he’ll keep Cynthia’s steamy secrets and help her find a husband among the guests—in exchange for a single kiss.
What could be the harm in a simple kiss? Cynthia is about to discover that it’s enough to unleash fierce passion—and that Miles Redmond is most certainly like no other lover in the world.
Review: She does it again! Julie Anne Long might be the only romance author on earth who can make me adore a story that takes place primarily at a house party. Typically, I crave for the historical romances I read to move beyond the common tropes of the genre to include something akin to an adventure or anything else that will surprise me. But with Long’s house party stories I do feel as if I have been given something precious. She understands her characters, she understands the building of sensual tension, and she knows how to write emotion with clarity and beauty to resonate within all of her readers. This author amazes me, and I will continue to read through her catalog to have more and more.
Like No Other Lover is a character-driven story at its finest. Miles Redmond is scientific and curious; he has gone on expeditions to the South Sea to learn about insects and has published his findings. His greatest dream is to return to Lacao and his work there, but now that he is heir of the wealthy Redmond family (since his elder brother disappeared with what is rumored to be a broken heart at the hand of the family’s arch enemy) his father refuses to fund any more of his expeditions. If he wants to return to his science then Miles will need to marry Lady Georgina and the money her father will give to the marriage. On the other hand, there is Miss Cynthia Brightly: who had the society of London in the palm of her hand, which was quite the accomplishment for someone penniless and with no family. A misfortune has left her on the outs of society and with only her beauty to advance her; her goal after she receives an invite (from Miles’ younger sister) to the house party is to secure a proposal from an heir.
With Miles’ dreams as they are he can not give in to Cynthia, so he offers to advise her on the likes of all the males at the party so she might charm them; in exchange for a kiss. Desire between them follows although both know it should not, and in the way she has done in another of her books (that is one of my all-time favorites) Julie Anne Long develops her characters to not only see and know each other, but to have a better understanding of themselves. I love it.