Monday, 13 June 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #73
Forgotten Daughter - Jennie Lucas
Mills and Boon Modern Special Release
Harlequin Mills and Boon, 2011
From the back cover:
"Annabelle... Reserved. Elegant. Scarred.
Sister to seven brothers, Annabelle should be used to men, but her trust was shattered the night her father almost killed her. Now Annabelle is a poised, polished ice-queen, whom no man has ever touched...
Stefano Cortez can tame a wild horse quicker than any man alive and this passion heats the blood in his veins. Annabelle might appear untouchable, but he sees beneath the frost, sees the real her: a woman desperate to be brought alive again."
When I read the first book in this series and read about the 'incident' that caused so much distress for all the Wolfes, I could hardly wait to read Annabelle's story. Coming from Jennie Lucas, I had a feeling it was going to be intense... I wasn't wrong!
At the start of the book Annabelle arrives at a horse ranch in Spain owned by notorious playboy Stefano, the hero. Annabelle is a well known photographer and has earned a reputation of being untouchable, she was left scarred after a horrific beating by her father and has not let anyone close since. She rarely stays in one place for long and hides her scars as well as her emotions. Stefano sees Annabelle as a challenge and immediately desires her but he gets frustrated by her constant rebuffs. In order to be successful at seducing her Stefano begins spending more time with her, but as he gets to know her he begins to have other feelings towards her and senses that she is hiding her real self. When Annabelle finally succumbs to Stefano's seduction they are both shocked at the level of passion between them. Stefano realises that Annabelle means a lot more to him than simply a challenge but Annabelle is determined not to let him close and to move on.
This is a very intense book, since Annabelle's past is very dark you would expect this, and it was done perfectly. Annabelle was written with the perfect mix of vulnerability and detachment, I liked how she had managed to drag herself out into the world and make something of herself even though she was still very tortured by what had happened to her. This was a little hint of the strength inside her that was just waiting for the right man bring it out. Cue Stefano! I'll be honest, I hated him at the start, yes hated! All he could think about was the challenge of bedding her, so he could brag about it perhaps, that I just wanted to hit him over the head the book! However, once he managed to get his head out of the gutter he gradually let his gentle and caring side shine through, sigh! All is forgiven Stefano! To make you change your mind on a character that much shows how strong the writing is.
The chemistry between the two is very, er, intense (sorry that's apparently my favourite word at the moment!). Annabelle's back story is explained and written well and right at the perfect moments to add more layers of emotion to the story, I really felt that the love story between the two characters was believable.
As expected from Jennie Lucas the writing is spectacular, the book is fast-paced and exciting and the characters are well developed. Quite simply, I loved it!
This book will be released on general sale here in the UK mid-July, you can buy it now the Mills and Boon UK website as a bundle with all eight books in the series. It will be released in the US in January 2012 called 'The Girl that Love Forgot' (great title!).