Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Amanda Quick - Affair

Charlotte Arkendale knew all there was to know about men. After all, she'd made a career out of steering marriage-minded women away from untrustworthy members of the opposite sex.
Yet nothing could have prepared her for Baxter St. Ives--an arresting stranger too daring, too determined, too dangerous to be her new man-of-affairs. Still, perhaps he was the perfect person to help Charlotte investigate the recent murder of one of her clients. So she gave him a chance, never realizing that Baxter, a gifted scientist, would soon conduct a risky exploration into the alchemy of desire, with Charlotte as his subject.
But even as he sets out to seduce Charlotte, a twisted killer lies in wait, ready to part the lovers...or see them joined together forever--in death.

Comment: Another one of the many books by the author that I have. The blurb of this one seemed promising so I left it for later instead of one of the others, as I tend to leave things that seem better for later and thus enjoying them more. It's a personal thing of mine.

This is Charlotte and Baxter's story. Charlotte has had a difficult experience when younger and she actually saved her younger sister from a crime. She and her sister were left without any family after that and Charlotte put her brain to work and came up with a job she could do and that wouldn't be what was expected of young ladies with nothing. But now she has a task to accomplish and she needs a man-of-affairs to help her.
Baxter is a chemist and prefers his laboratory to anything else because, as a bastard, he had to live with his family's name in the society gossip. But someone is dead and he wants to know who did the deed and clues point to Charlotte. He gets to be her man-of-affairs and tries to investigate, but soon they both reach the conclusion there's more to the other than they thought and more than respect starts to grow between them.

I liked this story a lot. I thin it's one of the author's best in this genre.Although all of them follow a certain formula and can be very similar in terms of plot devices and sequences, I still feel there's some unique feel to each story that makes it more or less enjoyable. 

I thought this story was very good and I really liked the main characters.
Charlotte has had some challenges but she comes up as a independent and smart woman int he end. I liked how she faced a dire situation but she used her brain and despite working she can also provide help to other women and keeping her respectable position, even though people still thin she's odd. hen she meets Baxter she fears his personality is more than he appears to show and she is proved right later on. But Charlotte is also practical - like most Quick's heroines - and she doesn't let herself be too dazzled. But she still can't help feel attracted and to fall in love. I liked this contrast,she can be down to earth but has a softer side when in love. Their romance happened like most romances by this author do, with an apparent easy seduction but that hides a strong bond.
As for Baxter, he's an interesting character, also with his problems in life, but he is a trustworthy person, everyone says so. He helps others even when he doesn't feel like it and he takes charge when needed. But he isn't an alpha type character and part of his charm was due to this. I think I appreciated his behavior more because of this.
Problems aside, these two had a good story, they had a good relationship, they had something special between them and most people didn't see what each one of them saw in the other, and I liked how they were something a little bit special just for the other one.

The plot was smart, with the usual clichés too, but despite this, still managed to be entertaining and offered some interesting twists. Some things were expected, but it was still enjoyable even when we knew what would follow. There were some details about this plot that also gave some more depth to the overall story, and not always something easily obvious in her other novels.

All in all, a god story, good characters, many elements to strengthen the things happening and a main couple that was good together and on their own. Good secondary characters to enhance the main one's personality and in the end, a satisfying conclusion. I liked it a lot.
Grade: 8/10

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