Tessa Dare's stories just get better and better. I've been following her since Goddess of the Hunt and I think Lady of Persuasion just might be her best work to date.
I don't usually like revenge stories -- I like my love stories without having to wade through a morass of doom and angst before getting to the last few pages where finally they get their happily ever after. Happily, that didn't happen with Isabel and Toby.
I liked the spin on the story where Toby fell desperately in love with Isabel and thereafter has to cope with having a love who is pretty much the antithesis of who he was. I especially loved the scene where he offers her an ice and gets lectured on the evils of slavery and how Isabel won't eat sugar that hasn't been imported by her brothers because she can't ignore the human suffering behind it. The look on Toby's face must have been one to behold.
It was lovely to see Toby work through his insecurities and figure out how to woo Isabel. Of course, I did think that his task was a bit easier since Isabel clearly was drawn to him as well, but I was gratified to see that he had to really fight for his love in the end. Not wanting the angst and gloom doesn't mean I like to see a previously spoiled dandiprat such as Toby get all that he ever wanted that simply.
The part where Sophie sets down Toby by telling him that it was his incessant refusal to see her as she truly was that drove her away was truly classic.
This story was funny by turns and carefully nuanced throughout -- I shall look forward to see what else Tessa Dare has in store.
Tessa Dare spins a witty, wanton tale of passion and conquest, as a reformer and a rake find unexpected love.
Only one thing could convince Sir Tobias Aldridge, an incorrigible libertine, to profess undying fidelity to a woman he’s just met. Revenge. What better way to get back at an enemy than by stealing the scoundrel’s sister? Not that Toby finds it a chore, seducing a beguiling, sultry beauty freshly arrived from the West Indies. When the prize is Isabel Grayson, vengeance is doubly rewarding.
Isabel is determined to marry a wealthy, powerful lord and become a lady of influence, using her rank and fortune to fight social injustice. Sir Toby, with his paltry title and infamous reputation, is unsuitable husband material–but he makes her blood race, her heart pound, and her long-buried passions come to the surface. If she can reform the charming devil, she’ll get exactly what she craves: society’s respect. But it’s a dangerous gamble. For if Toby wins this battle of persuasion, Isabel could lose her heart.