A dressmaker in London's busiest shop, Miss Anabelle Honeycote overhears the ton's steamiest secrets—and (occasionally) uses them to her advantage. It isn't something she's proud of, but the reluctant blackmailer needs the money to care for her gravely ill mother. To make up for her misdeeds, Anabelle keeps to a firm set of rules:
• Never request payment from someone who cannot afford it.
• Never reveal the secrets of a paying client.
• Never enter into any form of social interaction with a client.
Her list keeps her (somewhat) honest—until she encounters Owen Sherbourne, the Duke of Huntford. Not only does Owen nip Anabelle's extortion plans in the bud, the devilishly handsome Duke soon has the sexy seamstress dreaming of more than silks and satins. With Owen, Anabelle enjoys pleasures she never imagined . . . until a scandal from the past resurfaces. Now her rules could mean his family's ruin. Owen's searing kisses carry the promise of passion, but how will he react when Anabelle's most devastating secret is finally revealed?
Mass Market Paperback, 379 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Forever
It's my very first of Anne Barton. And, well, it's her novel debut. :D
I got this book as a birthday gift from one of my book best friends. She knew I love anything related to Wicked things. Besides, since I loved When He Was Wicked from Julia Quinn, which the one I had was the red cover version, she thought this novel would be a great pair for that one. :D
While I found Michael Sterling from When He Was Wicked was indeed very wicked, I can't say the same for Annabelle, who I found was not wicked enough, at least to fill my expectation. But perhaps it's due to her lack of experience, compared to Michael Sterling.
The story line was not exactly that great. Things happened too fast in the beginning. How could Owen easily offered Annabelle to live in his house after what she did was unbelievable. I can understand if he's attracted a lot to her, people do silly things when in love/lust. But it wasn't even described very clearly. Also how she easily agreed and got comfortable in his house.
Somehow, I kept on reading and pretty enjoyed it. I even felt sympathy when Annabelle was forced to leave by Miss Starling threat. But after that, the climax was a bit disappointing. Especially when Rose finally spoke for the first time after two years. When Owen finally proposed to Annabelle, I didn't find it romantic or heart-moving. It felt just ... flat.
Overall, it's a good start for a novel debut. I really hope Anne Barton do a lot better for the second novel. I also hope there would be story about Olivia, Averill, and Rose. ^^
What I Loved about this novel:
- The Cover! It's beautiful.
- The vocabulary explanation under the chapter number, which related to sewing stuff, also a certain action or situation which lead to the beginning of the scene. It's a great way to begin the chapter.