by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Hellions of Halstead Hall #2
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication date: September 21, 2010
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Purchase: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*contains sexual content and foul language. This book is not intended for readers under 17.
Furious at his grandmother’s ultimatum to marry or lose his inheritance, Lord Jarret Sharpe wagers his luck—and his heart—at the card table against a most unlikely opponent.Sabrina Jeffries never fails to wow me. I am completely in love with the Hellions of Halstead Hall and this novel book two in the series brings us Lord Jarret Sharpe’s tale. I love when a book grabs you in the first few pages and this one certainly did. Filled with wagers, romance and self-discovery Jarret’s tale was delicious.
Mired in scandal after his parents’ mysterious deaths, notorious gambler Lord Jarret Sharpe agrees to tamely run the family brewery for a year if his Machiavellian grandmother rescinds her ultimatum that he marry. But the gambler in him can’t resist when beguiling Annabel Lake proposes a wager. If she wins their card game, he must help save her family’s foundering brewery. But if he wins, she must spend a night in his bed. The outcome sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy all his plans . . . and unveils the secret Annabel has held for so long. When Jarret discovers the darker reason behind her wager, he forces her into another one—and this time he intends to win not just her body, but her heart.
Jarret’s grandmother issued an ultimatum that all of the Hellions must be married by year’s end or she would cut them off financially. Jarret’s older brother has succumbed and he has no intentions of going down without a fight. When his grandmother becomes ill and bed rest is ordered she asks Jarret to run the families brewery. He sees an opportunity and agrees to run it for one year, if she drops the marriage clause. When Annabel Lake shows up at the brewery with her families ale, things get interesting. The tale that unfolded had me laughing, sighing and racing towards my much needed happily-ever-after.
Jeffries creates delightful flawed characters that are fleshed out and positively lovable. Jarret is no exception with his crooked smile and protected heart. A glimpse at the trauma in his early years explains his carefree, rouge ways. What he needs is a woman to melt his heart, at least that is what is grandmother believes. While she is bedridden do not think for a minute that this ornery, woman is sitting on the sidelines. Annabel Lake is full of secrets. She is powerhouse when it comes to protecting her family and equally innocent. Her self-esteem and personal shame tugged at my heart. Her sister-in-law, brother and twelve year old, Geordie added to the tale and kept things suspenseful. We see the other hellion siblings and some great teaser about the next book are revealed. Mr. Pinter the investigator intrigues me and I am secretly hoping he gets his own story.
Jarret and Annabel’s tale was delightful and I loved how the brewery was tied into this tale. While the story began slowly it quickly picked up speed and I found myself completely immersed in this tale. The romance was full of sexual tension and some pretty hot scenes that had the pages of my nook melting. I really appreciate how fleshed out the characters are and even the secondary characters stand out and hold their own. From rumors to misunderstandings the plot had several threads running through it and each held me captive. While I did not love this as much as the first book, it certainly has me eager to read the next. I walked away feeling good, and isn't that exactly what a good book should do?
I totally recommend the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and A Hellion in my Bed to fans of historical romances with well developed characters. I am eager to begin How to Woo a Reluctant Lady, the next book in the series *eyes Nook* Sabrina Jeffries is on my auto-buy list.
I gave the novel 4.5 mocha cappuccinos out of 5
My review of book one: The Truth About Lord Stoneville