Title: A Reckless Desire (The Breconridge Brothers, book #3)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Isabella Bradford
Publisher: Ballantine, March 2016
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
Lord Rivers Fitzroy is as charming and sought-after as his rakish elder brothers, though he immerses himself more in dusty books and scholarly pursuits than in bawdy houses. Yet, Hell-bent on making the most of his remaining bachelorhood now that his father insists he marry, Rivers becomes the favorite of a troupe of Italian dancers. One night, after a performance, the handsome lord is challenged with a most provocative wager: Turn the players’ meek and mousy cousin into the first lady of the London stage. But Lucia di Rossi is not what she seems. Scorned by the rest of her family, Lucia longs for the respect and stardom of a great actress. Rivers’ wager could be the answer to all her hopes—so long as he understands that she wants to be an actress, not his mistress. The two commence her metamorphosis in earnest—even as passion begins to take center stage. As Lucia’s dreams come true, she fears that it may be Rivers, not she, who is the master performer. Is he only making her believe he cares? Has she found the spotlight only to lose her heart—or will the final curtain reveal a love strong enough to last?
This is a retelling of the Pygmalion story or if you are not familiar with that, “My Fair Lady”. It follows so closely to that story line that I almost started to sing “The rain In Spain, stays mainly in the plain”. Lucia is a woman who is scorned by her family for not living up to the family expertise in ballet. She becomes a servant drudge to them…wait perhaps this is “Cinderella”. Lord Fitzroy makes a wager with his friend that he could take the cockney out of the girl and make her an actress of renown on the London stage. Rivers then scoots her away to the country in his carriage where she enthralls him with a made up story…shades of “Scheherazade”. Once in the country they start to fall in love but he is an aristocrat and she a lowly actress. How they find their way to a HEA is the meat of the story.
Being overly familiar with this story line put a bit of a damper on it for me. But that’s just me. The writing is well done by Ms. Bradford and the romance is slow blooming. Lucia was a woman to be reckoned with and Rivers was her hero.
I received this book free for review from the publisher.