Review – A Dangerous Kind of Lady by Mia Vincy

About the Book:

A desperate situation calls for dangerous deeds…

Proud heiress Arabella Larke has little respect for rules and no time for scruples, not when she faces marriage to a man she loathes and fears.

Determined to save herself, Arabella comes up with a plan: a fake engagement with her childhood nemesis, Guy Roth, Marquess of Hardbury, recently returned home after years away. To Arabella’s surprise, Guy has become strong, honorable, and unexpectedly attractive…but he refuses to even hear her plan.

After leaving England to escape his corrupt, controlling father, Guy has vowed never to do anyone’s bidding again—certainly not Arabella’s. To Guy’s surprise, Arabella has become intriguing, quick-witted, and unexpectedly attractive, but he has enough drama trying to gain custody of his younger sisters, and he wants nothing to do with her dubious schemes.

Until Arabella shows up at his house one night, and Guy finds himself entangled to a dangerous degree…

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                                         A Dangerous Kind of Lady

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Guy Roth, now the Marquess Hardbury, spent the first twenty years of his life under his father’s thumb.  His father decreed who he would marry, what his activities were, how he cut his hair, and even what he wore.  After all those years of having no freedom, as well as suffering his first heartbreak in love, Guy left home and traveled the world for eight years, only returning after his father’s death.  Guy has become his own man, stronger physically, more experienced, and determined to live his life the way he wants to.  He longs for a settled home with a comfortable wife, certainly not the woman his father wished him to marry.  As children, he and Arabella were always competing, and at odds with each other.  She’s just the kind of woman he will not spend his life with.

Arabella Larke is about to be forced into an engagement she doesn’t want – all because Guy has returned, and announced that he won’t honor his and her fathers’ agreement that they marry.  She has no desire to marry Guy either, as their childhood was full of competition and one-upmanship.  However, if she can convince Guy to agree to a temporary fake engagement, she’ll have time to arrange a real marriage, one more palatable to her, to another neighbor, who is currently out of the country.  Guy is seemingly not the amiable gentleman he once was, as he bluntly brushes Arabella off, telling her that he will not even listen to her scheme, as he believes that she is trying to genuinely force him into marrying her.

In addition to finding an amiable wife, Guy is working toward gaining guardianship of his two younger sisters.  His deceased father put them legally into the care of one of his crooked cronies.  When Arabella tries again to speak to him, this time to warn him that his sister may be in jeopardy, he once more dismisses her, telling her that he has the situation under control.  Only – he doesn’t.  When Guy learns that his sisters and their guardians are to be guests at the Larke home for a houseparty, culminating in Arabella’s engagement ball, he knows he has no choice but to attend.  He is reluctant to face Arabella again, because, despite their mutual antagonism, they shared a brief, yet intense, physical interlude, which makes Guy question her motivation even more.

My, oh, my – the goings on at the houseparty — engagements, broken engagements, schemes, intended entrapment, and surprising passion!

A DANGEROUS KIND OF LADY is by no means an easy read, but it is intense, compelling, and powerful.  Arabella and Guy are such strong characters, each in their own way.  Guy’s initial brushing off of Arabella was his way of asserting his independence from his obsessive father.  He was determined to not follow any edict that his father issued.  He soon begins to see glimpses of the real person behind Arabella’s icy exterior, as well as discovering how she constantly helps people without making it known.  As Guy allows himself to let his own guard down, his true character is revealed, showing him to be caring, playful, passionate and willing to meet Arabella more than halfway.  But she has to be willing….

Arabella is so very complex.  The death of her brother when they were children had a devastating effect on her, but it changed her father completely.  No longer the loving parent, he belittles Arabella, making it obvious that he wished it were she who perished instead of his son.  In order to help Arabella cope, her mother encouraged her to be strong and tough.  This led to Arabella building walls around herself so high that it was impossible for anyone to get close.  She became cold, arrogant, prideful, and wielding a wicked tongue which could tear one to pieces.  She learned to rely only on herself, never asking anyone for help.  Somewhere underneath all that is a tender heart that only wants to be loved for herself, someone strong enough to accept her as she is without wanting to change her.  Arabella genuinely broke my heart, as time and time again, she sabotaged herself with her words, as she then withdrew even further when she realized she let Guy in just a little bit.  I wonder how she could possibly resist, when he says things like:

“When I touch you,” he said, hypnotic and heavy, “I imagine leaving a trail of stars, all the colors in the world, exploding from my touch, like a thousand fireworks flying up from your skin.”  Swoon!

I love A DANGEROUS KIND OF LADY, and I can say that is the best book I have read this year.  Mia Vincy’s writing is stellar, her characters complicated, yet totally sympathetic.  I simply did not want to put this book down, with its twists, compelling storyline, and heartbreaking situations.  This is not a light read, but one to become immersed in for those readers who long for depth and emotion.  Most highly recommended.    ~Rose

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