What a delightful romance. Offbeat, interesting characters and strong character development. The heroine, Emma, is a 30ish "plump" reformed con-artist widow who is trying to run her own Yorkshire sheep farm after the death of her alcoholic husband, also a reformed con artist, who was the local vicar.
The old viscount has died and the new viscount (Stuart) is the stuttering, son of an abusive father estranged from his father and living in Russia. He receives the notice from his solicitor three weeks after his father's death. In the meantime, his uncle has had him declared dead and looted his estates in an attempt to usurp the title. On his way to claim his estate and title, his speeding coach tramples to death Emma's only male lamb.
Emma is outraged that the lamb she had planned to use for breeding has been killed and writes the new viscount a letter demanding compensation for her loss. When he doesn't respond, she pays a personal visit to his estate and is told he is unavailable to meet with her.
Finally, she receives a visit from his under-secretary who offers her a bank draft of 10 pounds as recompense for her losses. She is outraged because she feels the lamb was worth much more as breeding stock and Yorkshire courts normally take into consideration the offspring that a lamb would have produced when calculating damages for killing a lamb.
She files suit in a local court and when she is awarded 50 pounds, the viscount appeals to a higher court in London. She is outraged because she doesn't have the money to travel to London and continue fighting him. She decides to obtain the money through devious means and swindles him out of the 50 pounds by posing as a temporary bookkeeper at his bank.
Wonderful character development, interesting plot about two less than perfect characters who overcome their tragic pasts to heal each other and find love in the process.
This book should be 5 stars, its been a while since I laughed so much. Great, great read.
filled with desire, scandalous intrigue, and sensuality
A great read! This is my first Judith Ivory story. Great characters. A mixture of intensity and humor. The humor comes unexpectedly and makes you laugh out loud. The love scenes are intense and well-executed. I'll read more of hers.
Good book. I think it could have been improved with a bit more directness in the writing.
Unite My Heart is the tale of a burgeoning couple who have a bit of a predilection for something a bit rougher in the bedroom than you see in your usual romance. However Judith Ivory doesn't really come outright with the notion. The story and the characters were under-served in this aspect, as I think the vagueness of Ivory's writing could lead you to think badly of either character. And just when they finally have a direct conversation about the subject, Ivory rushes the scene forward in a manner that suggests perhaps they didn't "go there". Was she afraid of putting readers off? Or just afraid of the subject in general? Given the title of the book, and a curious love scene early in the book, I think the culmination, sexually, of all of that was a disappointment and left you at best, confused.
The story was Ivory's typical combination of a person in the ranks of British society who becomes fascinated with a person far below their station. The situation was kind of interesting - the couple has a very rocky (litigious) start and then agree to work on a grift together. The grift itself was a bit weak although I thought Ivory's research into grifters was interesting.
Some steamy scenes, but Ivory is a "penetration = orgasm" style writer.
Overall a good book but left me wanting more.
Best line ever: "You may cash this draft, eat it with mung beans, or stuff it up your very nervy bum!" This book had me literally laughing out loud many times. It is a great read and I am happy I stumbled across it :)
Funny premise, and interesting book.
Stuart Aysgarth the new viscount mount villiars doesnt know hes playing with fire when he inadvertently runs afoul of Emma Hotchkiss, true the exquisite yorkshire lady is a mere sheep farmer but she also guards a most colorful past that makes her only more appealing to the handsome haunted lord. Emma has come to him seeking justice and stuart is determined that she will not leave until she has shared her secrets and his bed
I liked this book. Clever plot line, interesting male and female leads.
Very original, both in writing style and plot! Ivory's writing is so lush and rich in description. This is not a book you want to rush through, but savor every paragraph. She spends at least a page describing the hero's winter fur coat, and by the end of it not only will you be craving the coat, but somehow she's also revealed a lot about the character of the man wearing it.
The heroine, Emma, is a widowed Yorkshire sheep farmer, but once upon a time her and her first husband ran confidence games. Although she's long been reformed, Emma still has that little quirk in her character that can't resist trouble. So when she can't get legally compensated for the loss of a sheep that was run over my Stuart's coach, she decides to run a little confidence game on the hero. Stuart, Viscount Mount Villiars, has just become Viscount upon the death of his father. He hated his father so much that he's spent years in Turkey, Russia, and anywhere as far away from him as he could get. He's now returned to settle the estate, which is in a huge financial tangle, thanks to an uncle who tried to steal his inheritance.
When these two meet, they seem like an unlikely couple, but the fireworks start almost immediately. Stuart is gorgeous, exotic and strong-willed, and he unexpectedly finds himself attracted to the twists and turns of Emma's mind, as well as her body. Both of them are extremely tricky and clever, so they are evenly matched, and throughout the book they take turns getting the better of each other. Stuart pretty quickly figures out what Emma's game is, and he recruits her to run a little confidence game of his own.
The love scenes are intense, sometimes a little bit kinky, and funny all at the same time. At the end, it was touching the way they both put their hearts on the line, and risk everything for love.
Another bonus was I learned a lot about Victorian era confidence games. I can't believe this author never came across my path before. Her writing has so much feeling, humor, and great character development. I will definitely read more by her!