About the Book:
A dashing new neighbor…
Temptation on her doorstep!
To avoid an unwanted suitor at a ball, Hope Brookes asks another gentleman to rescue her. He obliges—with a surprisingly passionate kiss! He’s revealed as her sinfully handsome new neighbor, Lucius, Marquess of Thundersley, and they forge a friendship over their balconies. It’s refreshing that Lucius is more interested in her writer dreams than her looks, so why can’t she stop thinking about that kiss?
Hope Brookes is one of three daughters of very famous parents. Her father is a successful and respected artist, while her mother is a famous soprano. Hope’s sisters, Faith and Charity, have each inherited talent from one of their parents, and are following in their footsteps. Hope, however, aspires to be a published author. She longs to be able to write under her own name, something very few women of that time have accomplished. In addition, Hope has the distinction of being tall and curvaceous, something that leads many foolish men to believe that she’s ripe for extracurricular activity. Hope doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and doesn’t hesitate to insult and berate persistent men who are unable to accept no for an answer. As she flees yet another overeager pursuer, a stranger comes to her rescue by engaging her in a delicious kiss.
Lucius Duff is the new Marquess of Thundersley, a title he never expected to acquire, and certainly doesn’t want. As he decides to rescue sharp tongued Hope from her ardent admirer by virtue of stealing a kiss, she decides to push him into the fountain to cool off. Luke is the product of his father’s second marriage, and he and his mother were shipped off to the country and all but forgotten. When Luke’s older half brother became the marquess upon their father’s death, he took even more drastic measures to ensure that his stepmother and Luke were kept out of sight. Now that his half brother is also dead, Luke finds that he is being ardently pursued by his widowed sister-in-law, Abigail. In order to avoid Abigail’s schemes, Luke rents a home of his own, which turns out to be right next door to Hope Brookes. In fact, it appears that their bedroom balconies are separated by a mere three feet.
Luke and Hope begin to chat and become comfortable around each other, especially since both have declared that they are not seeking a spouse. While Luke appreciates Hope’s generous curves, he also manages not to ogle, and looks at her respectfully. He’s also an encourager, as he learns of her dream to be published. Eventually Luke divulges his own family secrets, and relishes the support and understanding he receives from Hope. Their teasing has turned to friendship, and the friendship has developed into something deeper. Though neither planned on marriage, it now seems like it’s something they both desire greatly. Then gossip starts about Luke’s mother, and in his panic, he makes a BIG, BIG mistake.
Hope is a strong, forthright kind of woman who doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind, even to the point of sarcastic cruelty. Her over zealous suitors took her caustic remarks for witticisms and became even more entranced. This caused Hope to build some solid walls around herself until Luke’s support and kindness started to break them down. Throughout all of THE MARQUESS NEXT DOOR, Luke was the ideal hero – smart, sexy, and supportive. The actions he took caused a seemingly irreparable rift between him and Hope. I was surprised by the resolution, as it seemed to me that the fiery Hope showed a new level of commitment and maturity. THE MARQUESS NEXT DOOR is delightful and romantic. I loved this couple and their bumpy and passionate journey to love. ~Rose