A Kiss To Remember by Teresa Medeiros
published by Bantam Books in May 2002 (HC in July 2001)
If she is to keep a roof over her siblings' heads, rector's daughter Laura Fairleigh needs a husband. When she finds a mysterious stranger sleeping in the forest with no memory of his name or his past, she decides to claim him for her own. Little does she know that her fallen angel is really Sterling Harlow, the notorious rakehell also known as the "Devil of Devonbrooke".Genre: historical romance
Too late, she realizes she has given him the right to claim not only her home, but her body and her heart. Now she must win the devil's heart to save both their souls.
Series: Fairy Tale series, Book #3
The Story: The book opens with young Sterling Harlow excitedly waiting to see the Duke of Devonbrooke. However, the visit does not turn out as he expected as the Duke of Devonbrooke has come to "buy" himself a heir to the title. After seeing the exchange of money between the Duke and his parents, needless to say Sterling grows cold towards his parents, especially his mother who, in his opinion, betrayed him. However, it's easy to ignore his mother when she's alive, but much more difficult to ignore her death... and so Sterling finally returns home... Only, he falls from his horse, hits his head and gets amnesia.
Laura Fairleigh and her siblings were taken in by Sterling's mother after her husband's death. Laura has a very poor opinion of Sterling, since he never responded to his mother and never came to visit her, even when she was sick. In her will, Sterling's mother gives the house to Laura, but only if she gets married before her twenty-first birthday. Laura has been courted by many in the village, but none she liked... but she is now in a pinch, until she finds the perfect man... who's lost his memories.
My Opinion: I actually read this book after reading One Night of Scandal which is the sequel... I didn't realize that I had it... Anyway, I liked the story. I thought it was refreshing that for once, it's the hero that has amnesia. I really liked Sterling and actually, understand his feelings about been "sold." I felt like his mother let him go for his own good, because he'd get a better education and a better life than what she could provide... however, it doesn't soften the blow for Sterling that money was exchanged. It don't blame for Sterling for his behavior towards his mother... He was too young to fully understand himself, plus the Duke wasn't a nice man... and well, Sterling's a man... you know how rigid they are in their thinking. In that sense, I thought that Laura was a little bit too goody-two-shoes. I can see her view of it, but I don't think that she should be that strict with her belief.
The whole storyline was interesting, although I wished the part where Sterling had amnesia would have lasted longer. I wished he would have realized his real feelings towards Laura before he dragged her back to London and be all, "You tricked me... but hey, I was already considering to take a bride to get a heir..." Wasn't very romantic ^_^; I applaud Laura's guts to try to carry on a charade like she did and lucky for her, it really turns out well...
My favorite parts were when Laura's younger siblings, Carlotta and George, came up with plans to kill Sterling to get rid of Laura's husband LOL :) It's very cute of them actually, since they feel their older sister is marrying for their sake - to keep the roof over their heads - and she shouldn't sacrifice so much :)
My Grade: B. Although I enjoyed the story and liked the characters, I think that my reading of this book was affected by reading One Night of Scandal. I think I would have enjoyed A Kiss to Remember better if I've read it first. I really liked the older Sterling and Laura and had a bit of difficulty associating their story to their older selves.
One Night of Scandal by Teresa Medeiros
published by Avon in August 2003
Carlotta Anne Fairleigh has spent most of her girlhood savoring the thrilling pleasures of Gothic novels. She dreams of writing her own story of murder and mayhem, but when a bungled spying attempt ignites a torrid scandal on the very night of her debut into London society, she finds herself cast as the reluctant heroine in a real-life drama. Her reputation in ruins, she finds herself whisked away to a forbidding mansion on the rugged coast of Cornwall by Hayden St. Clair, the man society has dubbed "the Murderous Marquess." The intrepid Lottie refuses to be intimidated by the ghost of his first wife, who is rumored to wander the mansion by night, wailing for justice. It is Hayden himself who proves to be the greatest danger. For only by surrendering herself to him, body and soul, can she discover if the seductive pleasures of his touch will bring her chills or thrills, doom or delight.
Genre: historical romance
Series: Sequel to A Kiss To Remember
The Story: Carlotta is finally having her debut, a few years late. Dubbed as the Hertfordshire Hellion, Carlotta is more interested in becoming a gothic romance author than proper decorum... which is why the night of her debut, having learned that the Murderous Marquess Hayden St.Clair is in residence next door, she sneaks out to get a good look.
Ever since he killed one of his best friends in a duel, Hayden St. Clair has exiled himself to the country... Looking for feminine companionship, he comes back to London, but is unable to go anywhere because of the gossips. When he catches Carlotta outside his window, he mistakes her for a courtesan... which leads them to a compromising situation. Afraid that her brother-in-law will die in a duel against Hayden, Carlotta ends up marrying the Murderous Marquess. However, many surprises await her in the country...
My Opinion: This was a great book in my opinion. I enjoyed Carlotta's character immensely. She's lively and witty and you can only laugh at all the situations she got into. Hayden was also an enjoyable hero... Not one that makes you swoon, but almost. The mystery clouding over him is intriguing and I'm glad that the story was indeed tragic.
I enjoy Carlotta and Hayden's relationship. Got really drawn into it and the way they met, just priceless. One thing that I didn't like is the big misunderstanding at the end. I think that after all they went through and all the ground they made up, that misunderstanding was too much. I don't see why Hayden would feel that way.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters... Loved Sterling and how he tried to protect her... very heart-warming... that's why seeing his younger version left me a bit cold. I do think however that Carlotta's best friend, Harriet, was a bit superfluous.
In addition of great characters, Ms Medeiros delivers a great story in this one. I thought it was original and fresh. There was also a lot of depth and lots of things that happened. The plot actually had some surprises, so it wasn't at all predictable. All in all, very solid book :)
My Grade: B+. I truly enjoyed this one and you should all give it a try. I'm just sad that George doesn't have his own book :(