Review copy provided by publisher
Mira (Harlequin), September 2012
Synopsis- As maid to some of the most wanton ladies of the ton, Margery Mallon lives within the boundaries of any sensible servant. Entanglements with gentlemen are taboo. Wild adventures are for the Gothic novels she secretly reads. Then an intriguing stranger named Mr. Ward offers her a taste of passion, and suddenly the wicked possibilities are too tempting to resist .Henry Atticus Richard Ward is no ordinary gentleman. He’s Lord Wardeaux and he is determined to unite Margery with her newfound inheritance by any means—including seduction and deception. But when the ton condemns the scandalous servant-turned-countess and an unknown danger prepares to strike, will Margery accept Henry’s protection in exchange for her trust?
Review- Forbidden is the sixth installment of Nicola Cornicks’ The Scandalous Women of the Ton series. In forbidden a new hero and heroine are introduced though characters leading in prior books do make appearances. This is the third book in the series I have read and I’m so glad I picked up Desired and Forbidden after not particularly enjoying the characters in Notorious.
Margery Mallon is a sensible lady’s maid who is relatively inexperienced with men, despite visiting the local brothel to deliver her token homemade sweets to the working gals. So when Henry Ward walks into her lascivious workplace and kisses her into oblivion she isn’t the only one surprised by her sexual curiosity and lust. Several heated encounters later and Margery begins to really like and trust this mystery man.
But when her handsome Henry Ward is re-introduced as Henry “Lord” Wardeaux a nobleman who has come to deliver the news of her true identity- the deceit infuriates Margery. She discovers she was kidnapped as a child and is actually the long lost granddaughter of the proprietor of Templemore. In a moment she goes from a maid to the richest heiress in the county. She is to inherit the wealth and properties from her grandfather, a legacy that befell to Henry prior to Margery’s discovery. Convinced that Henry tried to seduce her to defame her and steal her inheritance, Margery intends to never trust the conniving Henry ever again. However, she doesn’t count on the strong sexual chemistry and her personal desires to get in the way of her plans.
Despite herself, she finds herself falling in love with the man who gave up on love a long time ago. Of course, both are aware that they could solve both their problems by marrying- Margery could explore intimacy without impairing her reputation and Henry wouldn’t have to leave Templemore. The problem is, Margery refuses to marry without love and Henry refuses to marry for love.
Initially, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like Margery and Henry. I thought it was a bit out of character for Margery to have a fling with Henry, someone she hardly knew. It also seemed out of character for Henry who normally so controlled, could succumb to his lust for Margery when he was supposed to be confirming her identity. But as the character’s personalities and fears began to emerge I really quite liked Henry and Margery. Their physical attraction made more sense as the characters evolved and I was quite happy with how the issues were resolved.
I really love this series and I intend to seek out the earlier titles. Cornick’s Ton series is packed with sweet and sexy romance with multidimensional characters. I really recommend her books to historical romance fans.
“I loved this book!”
Forbidden can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers