Promise Of The Rose by Brenda Joyce (published in 1993)
She is Mary, the beautiful daughter of the Scottish king--and an unwilling prisoner of the Norman invaders. The headstrong princess refuses to reveal her identity--even if it means sacrificing her virtue. But in the arms of a dangerous enemy she discovers a powerful passion and a powerful promise.
Brave and battle-hardened Stephen DeWarenne is prepared to defend to the death that which is his by right of conquest--including the golden-haired captive who awakens his soul's most secret yearnings. For theirs is a passion that will not be denied--a magnificent fire that burns hotter and brighter than the blazing flames of war that engulf the land.
Wendy Says: This is technically the second book in the author's DeWarenne Dynasty series which has spawned several books encompassing various time periods. Which is why, I suspect, this one was currently sitting in the ILL office. Someone is working their way through the series.
Diana's body melted to his touch. But suddenly she was afraid, not of this dark man with cool eyes and warm hands, but herself....
Beautiful Diana Brandelin entered into a daring masquerade when she came to London posing as a dazzling courtesan. All she knew of men was meaningless, forced marriage to a visiting lord-and gold to take the place of love. That lord was the dark and handsome Viscount Gervase St. Aubyn, whom she vowed to make pay for the past. But try as she might to be heartless in weaving a web of desire, passion tore away her defenses and her disguise...and gave Diana and Gervase an irresistible second chance at love...
Wendy Says: One of Putney's stand-alone historicals. I haven't read this one, nor do I have it in the TBR, but it does sound intriguing. I'm sure there are oodles of you out there who have read this one. Worth hunting down? A gem? Not one of Putney's best? And inquiring minds want to know - will I be subjected to the ol' Naive Virgin Playing Courtesan Claptrap if I decide to hunt this one down?
The Baby Plan by Susan Gable, Harlequin SuperRomance #1103 (published in 2002)
What he wants...is a baby. A child of his own. Jake Manning more or less raised his younger siblings; he loves kids and knows he's a natural father. However, he's had zero success as a husband. So he comes up with a baby plan, one that requires a woman but not a wife.Wendy Says: Every couple of years I go through and weed my Harlequin TBR Mountain, culling out plot themes I've grown tired of and/or authors who I have discovered "don't work" for me. Being a massive HSR Ho, I had to double-check to make sure this book was not currently residing in the Bat Cave (for the record, it's not). While I appreciate the role reversal risk here, it smacks me as sort of....creepy. Go ahead, call me sexist - but a hero desperate for a baby? And while I've read about surrogate heroines before, that really isn't what is going on here. This heroine is willing to rent her uterus out, but wants a marriage of convenience and s-e-x? It just sounds....skeevy. To me anyway. But if anyone has actually read this one, and feels the back cover copy is grossly inaccurate? Hey, that's why blogs have a comment section. Like I said, I'm a major HSR Ho, so feel free to enlighten me.
What she needs...is money. Security. An education. A home. Harley Emerson might be a crack mechanic, but a false conviction makes jobs hard to come by. She has no family and few friends. Jake's proposition offers her a way to get what she needs. But before she'll agree to have his baby, Harley insists on two things: a marriage of convenience and an "old-fashioned" conception.
What they find...is love. Neither of them expected it. Neither knows what to do with it. But sometimes plans change -- for the better. Sometimes you need more than you want -- and want more than you need.
So, anyone read any of these? Opinions? Keepers? Wallbangers? And any of these sound intriguing enough that you plan on tracking them down for yourself?