How fortuitous that I realized I was way behind in her latest series when I saw Jennifer Haymore at the Passion and Prose event last month. And this month's theme is series catch-up. So I played catch-up on the Donovan sisters. 2 1/2 books of awesome. Yet I found I have very little to say. Other than how I was reminded that Jennifer Haymore writes amazing romance. Her heroes and heroines are very romantic. It's easy to get completely lost in the romance when reading her books. Definitely go get them if you haven't read them.
Serena Donovan left London six years ago, her heart broken and her reputation ruined by devilishly handsome Jonathan Dane. Now, with her family's future in peril, she reluctantly agrees to return to England and assume her late twin's identity. The price? Marry a man she doesn't love and spend the rest of her days living a lie.
Jonathan Dane, Earl of Stratford, has become an incorrigible rake, drinking, gambling-and trying to forget Serena Donovan. Yet the moment he's introduced to the prim and proper "Meg", he recognizes the sensual young woman who captured his heart. Haunted by his past mistakes, he refuses to lose Serena again. But convincing her to trust him is no easy task. Claiming his lost love means exposing the truth and destroying the life Serena has sacrificed everything to rebuild. With the future of all the Donovans at stake, and their undying passion capable of triggering yet another scandal, how much will Jonathan and Serena risk for a chance at true love?
Oh, how I loved Jonathan and Serena. Serena was trying so hard to do what was expected of her, to take up the mantle of her sister Meg. But she was unable to hide her feelings of love for Jonathan, her teenage first love.
I love how Jonathan couldn't hide his love either, and yet they both wanted to do the right thing and not hurt Will, Meg's fiance.
Jonathan and Serena are very poignant together, and I truly believed they were in love 6 years previous and now. I liked that he owned up to his part in their breakup in the past, and that when the truth came out, Serena believed him. Even as she continued to express her hurt.
Their story was romantic, and sad, and lovely.
Seven years ago it was a young Serena Donovan and Jonathan Dane who shocked the ton when they were discovered in a most compromising position. Tonight they return for the first time as the Earl and Countess of Stratford. And while Serena hopes for a quiet evening to introduce her younger sister Olivia to society, Jonathan’s only desire is to pick up where he and Serena left off…
Though innocent Olivia secretly longs for the kind of passion her sister shares with her husband, none of the men she’s met spark a fire inside her heart—least of all the notorious Marquis of Fenwicke. When his request for a waltz turns into something sinister, Olivia must use her wit and wiles to evade a powerful peer who vows if can’t have her, no man shall...
Very short novella that sets up book 2. I felt, after having read the 2nd book, that it could have simply been included in Olivia's book. Page count restrictions perhaps?
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.
My favorite parts of the book were of the growing love between Max and Olivia. I wish that the Fenwicke storyline hadn't taken up so much of the book. Everytime he was on the page, I longed to get back to the beautiful prose, the soft, lovely courtship of Olivia & Max.
It's not that the kinappy-suspense wasn't well written and interesting, because it was. It's just that Haymore's talent and voice shines through so beautifully when she's concentrating on the love story.
I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment.