This was one of those books I had trouble putting down once I had started it ... another excellent work by Mary Jo Putney.
i really enjoyed this book!!1
Very good book. Mary Jo Putney is a terrific writer.
It is the breathtaking story of Diana Lindsay-the most desirable and sought-after woman in London-who wants only one man: a haunted lord with mysterious secrets as deep as hers...
Very emotional. If you are a fan of Mary Jo Putney and historical romance, this is a must read.
Good book about two emotionally wounded people. It opens with a young Gervase who, in a moment of drunken idiocy, compromises a young woman. He retains enough of his gentleman's code to marry the girl but also takes revenge for what he sees as entrapment. Devastated when he realizes the truth, he takes steps to care for the girl, yet also to avoid ever having to see her again.
I will say that Gervase did not endear himself to me in these opening pages. He was selfish, thoughtless, and cruel. I wasn't sure that he was at all redeemable. He is rightfully haunted by what he did, which drives him to find ways to ease his conscience. When the story resumes eight years later, Gervase is back in England after inheriting the title and continuing his service to England. He is emotionally closed off, allowing no one past the walls around his heart. So he is surprised and dismayed by the strength of his attraction to London's newest courtesan.
When we first meet Diana, she and her son and a friend live in a cottage in Yorkshire. It is the middle of winter, and during a vicious snowstorm, she rescues a woman who was a former courtesan. After nursing Maddy back to health, they become friends. Diana discovers that the stories Maddy tells appeal to the restlessness she feels. Something tells her that if she takes up that life, maybe she will find the love that she craves. But the man she is most drawn to is the least likely to give her what she needs.
The development of the relationship between Diana and Gervase is a rollercoaster of emotions. Both are wary of the strength of their attraction and the depth of the connection they feel. Gervase is a man whose trust in women was destroyed long ago in a most devastating way. He is determined to protect himself and uses that distrust like a shield. Though part of him wants to believe in Diana's goodness and the happiness he feels when he is with her, his skepticism is never far away. Diana is frequently overwhelmed by the strength of her feelings for Gervase, but also fears that giving in to those feelings without an equal return will cause her to lose sight of her own needs.
This is not a fast-paced romance. Instead, Gervase and Diana spend time together over many months, both in bed and out of it. I liked seeing Gervase slowly begin to exhibit his emotions. I especially enjoyed his connection with Diana's son. There were some pretty sweet scenes between them. However, Gervase's demons still made frequent appearances, most notably in his outbursts of jealousy. Diana is not free of her own issues. There are parts of her past that she needs to share with him, but she's afraid that it will drive him away. The longer she puts it off, the harder it becomes. When matters come to the points where both reveal their pasts, it is just as bad as she feared. Both of them frustrated me because of their attitudes. Diana made some excellent points about Gervase's actions, and I liked that he accepted the truth of them and sought to make changes. But she wasn't free of guilt herself, and the way she revealed her past only made things worse. Everything she said ran up against Gervase's fears and beliefs, causing him to believe the worst of her. I wondered how they could ever get past the things that were said and done.
Gervase did his usual shove everything he didn't want to think of behind a locked door in his mind and tried to lose himself in work. On the other hand, Diana still didn't give up hope that they could overcome it all and have that future she dreamed of. I enjoyed her arrival at the house party, and the after-dinner scene was marvelous. I loved how she handled herself and turned things her way. I still wanted to shake Gervase for his blindness and loved seeing his cousin tear into him. But it took nearly losing her for Gervase to finally let down his walls and allow Diana into his heart.
Running through the book was also an element of suspense. As a spymaster, Gervase actively works to help Britain in its efforts to bring down Napoleon. There is one particular French spy that he is determined to stop if he could only get the proof needed. This particular spy also has an unhealthy interest in Diana. The depth of his depravity and his determination to have Diana are another element of tension throughout the book. The final confrontation with him was a nail-biter and I genuinely feared for the safety of both Diana and Gervase. The way the spy was brought down was poetic justice and extremely satisfying.
This book is a classic in romance reading circles but it is one I could never finish due to the subject matter and something that happens early on. Supposedly it is one of the best redemption love stories ever written but the first few chapters gave me the major heebie jeebies. This is the first printing with original cover art on front & back. I registered this at bookcrossing.com so I can keep track of its journey's so it has bookcrossing labels inside.
Signet Regency Romance:
In 1799 Scotland, Gervase Brandelin, the victim of a sexually abusive mother, is livid when forced to wed Mary Hamilton, a deranged clergyman's innocent daughter whom he has unwittingly compromised. After years of separation, they meet again, but Gervase does not recognize his wife. Instead, he knows her as Diana Lindsay, whom he believes to be an accomplished courtesan and whom he woos to become his mistress. Through the tender courtship and through Gervase's kindness to the epileptic son conceived in the brutality of their wedding night, the pair experiences unsullied love for the first time and discovers the joys of family. Gervase's involvement in the super-secret espionage service working to undermine Napoleon adds spice and atmosphere. (taken from Amazon.com)
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Courtesans, Spies, and "Fits"....Oh My!, July 24, 2004
Reviewer: T. S Brown "Professional DayDreamer" (APO AP) - See all my reviews
I found this to be an enjoyable read - although the love scenes seemed to be a bit rushed. "Dearly Beloved" tells the story of Diane Lindsay, who leaves her small cottage home to pursue the courtesan profession in London. On her first appearance, she makes the acquaintance of Lord St. Aubyn, who eagerly wishes to lay claim to the stunning demirep. The two share a secret that bind them together yet ultimately may tear them apart.
The secondary characters were very likable. From Geoffrey, Diana's young son who suffers from epileptic "fits" - to Madeline, the reformed courtesan who cautions Diana that "a courtesan must never fall in love with her protector" - and Edith, the quiet Yorkshire woman who has been a part of Diana's life for years.
I would recommend this book to anyone who would care for a glimpse into the life of a courtesan and a truly endearing love story.
woman masquerades as a coutesan, trying to find true love.