Posted by: Jennifer | November 23, 2008

Like No Other Lover – Julie Anne Long

Long, Julie Anne. Like No Other Lover. (New York: Avon, 2008). ISBN – 9780061341591.

Main Characters: Cynthia Brightly and Miles Redmond

Related Works: This is part of Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green Series. The following books are in the series:

  • The Perils of Pleasure– story of Colin Eversea and Madeleine Greenway
  • Like No Other Lover – story of Cynthia Brightly and Miles Redmond

Description from book:

Now or Never . . .

It’s the last chance for Cynthia Brightly, the ton’s most bewitching belle. Driven out of London by a secret scandal she must find a grand husband at the Redmonds’ house party before word of her downfall spreads all over England. Unfortunately, someone at Pennyroyal Green is already privy to the whispers of broken engagements and dueling lovers. Miles Redmond, renowned explorer and – thanks to this brother’s disappearance – heir to the family’s enormous fortune.

Miles sets his sights on Cynthia once, at a time when the ambitious beauty thought herself too good for a second son. But now he’s heir apparent, relishing his control. He strikes a bargain with her, he’ll keep Cynthia’s steamy secrets and and help her find a husband among the guests – in exchange for a single kiss.

What couldf be the harm in a simple kiss? Cynthia is about to discover that it’s enough to unleash fierce passion – and that MIles Redmond is most certainly like no other lover in the world.

My Thoughts:

I have some mixed feelings about this book. Overall, it made me happy to read about Miles and Cynthia – and Miles Redmond is now one of my favorite heroes. However, I had some issues – mostly with Cynthia. She is in a very difficult situation. She has no money, no friends and a scandal over a broken engagement hanging over her head. I get that. But even given her precarious situation, Cynthia seems to have a sense of entitlement about her. She is that person who spoke so cruelly about Miles Redmond, the second son, at a ball before the beginning of this story. She is somewhat calculating – and I didn’t have the best reaction to her character. Well, that is until she was alone with Miles. Despite Cynthia’s irritating qualities, I loved the relationship between Miles and Cynthia. Miles harbors a great deal of anger towards Cynthia, and this makes their initial interactions somewhat combative. He has feelings for Cynthia – feelings that he does not want to have. All of his dreams are about to come true – in the guise of marriage to someone of whom his father approves. This match would allow him to plan new expeditions to continue his study of insects. However, he can’t quite contain his feelings for Cynthia.

Surprisingly, Cynthia can’t quite contain her feelings for Miles either. One of my favorite scenes in the book is the one where they first kiss. Miles agrees to give Cynthia information about the male houseguests to help her find a husband – in exchange for a kiss. The kiss in question is one of the most memorable first kisses in a romance novel that I have ever read. It made me all warm and tingly inside. And the successive intimate moments between the two live up to promise of that first kiss. And as the book progressed, Cynthia grew on me. After all, if she didn’t, I wouldn’t have been happy with the Miles/Cynthia pairing.

My other big irritation has to do with Miles’ father, Isaiah. He isn’t a prominent character in the book. Yet, his presence is massive because of his impact on Miles. We get a sense that he is a difficult man to please – one that can be harsh. I got a sense that Miles’ older brother Lyon has disappeared because his father wouldn’t approve of his relationship. When Miles does stand up to Isaiah to tell his father that he intends to marry Cynthia, his father’s reaction is odd. Isaiah coldheartedly tells Miles that he will be financially cut off if he chooses to marry Cynthia. Isaiah will never finance any of Miles’ expeditions and won’t let him join the Mercury Club. Also, he will require Miles to find his own house. He can’t live with Cynthia at Redmond House. However, Isaiah and the rest of the family will still receive Miles and Cynthia. In addition, Isaiah seems happy that Miles will marry for love. I could have done without this scene. Isaiah, in a sense, told his son that he loves him, but won’t ever approve of his choice of bride. Miles has his own money, so he can still support a bride. But his ability to finance another expedition is in jeopardy. So, it is a happy ending, but one that left me annoyed with Isaiah Redmond.

Despite my irritations with the book, I absolutely adored the relationship between the hero and the heroine. As I mentioned earlier, Miles Redmond is now one of my favorite romance heroes of all times. He somewhat surprised me. He was portrayed as a scholarly type. This combined with the fact that he seemed to be a weaker character than Cynthia – due the way he reacted to her harsh words and her first appearance – made me wonder at his ability to be a romantic hero. He was stronger than he appeared at the beginning – and certainly won me over. Big sighs for Miles!

Read first November 2008

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