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on July 13, 2004
...I've come to be quite spoiled by Nicole Jordan's books, and DESIRE continues that oh-so-satisfying tradition...
Brynn Caldwell is wonderfully drawn , strong, full of love for her protective older brother Grayson and her endearingly real younger brother Theo , whom she raised from birth when their mother died 12 years before. Their father is dead, and they are making a living , but only just keeping ahead of their creditors....
Brynn's life is changed forever when Lucian, the Earl of Wycliff, spies her rising out of the warm waters off Cornwall after a private swim, Venus-like. Their chemistry is instantaneous, and Lucian is a very experienced lover, being one of the more illustrious rakes in the Hellfire League, whose members are featured in all of Jordan's NOTORIOUS series. Brynn doesn't know (and we don't either, at first) how disillusioned Lucian has become with the empty loveless paths he's traveled, and how deeply involved he is now with the war effort, conducting espionage for Britain as she battles on against Napoleon Bonaparte, the Corsican tyrant.
But I digress. I read romance novels for romance, both emotional/spiritual and physical, and DESIRE *delivers*.... Ms. Jordan does not disappoint, giving readers a thrillingly hot love scene in the first few pages, set up as a prologue... WOW. All I can say is WOW...
In a nutshell, Brynn's afraid to marry him because a curse has been placed on all the females in her family; if she falls in love with any man, he will die. It's already happened to her once... and I was amazed when Ms. Jordan was able to draw *me* into the mystery of the curse, just as Brynn draws Lucian effortlessly to herself; he wants her more than he's ever wanted anyone, and offers for her hand almost immediately. He wants a son, badly, having had a recent brush with death which resets his priorities.
Brynn only accepts (although Lucian's beauty is hard to deny...) because if she weds Wycliff , her brothers would no longer have to smuggle luxuries into England , untaxed, to make a living. Grayson, the older brother , is already training young Theo to smuggle , when really the boy belongs in a good school, having a brilliant mind for science. Theo is , in a word, adorable.
Brynn weds Lucian reluctantly, and the fireworks begin... all kinds of fireworks... the very best ones being in the love scenes.
And I won't give it all away, but oh, that warm wedding night on the soft moonlit beach!!! Brynn is still an innocent, and Lucian is an exceedingly generous lover. At first he really does only want her so that he can sire an heir, but that changes quickly, as he grows to love her more and more --- much to her dismay. She doesn't want him to die.. it's the curse. Lucian scoffs at it, and early on, the reader does too, but not for long.
The plot becomes increasingly complex, but never boring, as Lucian becomes aware that Grayson is perhaps diverting enormous shipments of gold meant for Britain's allies over to the French.... not dealing at all with small stuff, such as brandy and silk...but he doesn't know Grayson is being blackmailed, his siblings facing certain death unless he complies....
Then Lucian suspects Brynn herself, his own wife, of being a part of the traitorous web, and Jordan makes this completely believable. I usually don't care for plots with much intrigue, but she makes it WORK, like magic. The intrigue is completely interwoven with the love....
She makes it so believable that you're sucked (willlingly) into the story, there with them. He's fallen hard for her, and now what will he do? And it gets even more complex. After all, they've been trying for a few months to create a child...
Brynn finds that there MAY be a way to break the curse; she loves Lucian desperately and fears daily for his life. Not going to give that part away, but it 's brilliant, too... brilliant all around.
Their marriage starts out on very shaky ground( not telling why) and we see Lucian deciding -- after several weeks of wedded strife (caused by his own arrogance) -- to start from scratch and woo Brynn tenderly, slowly, sweetly... it is to die for, dear readers. Wait till you get to page 292.... the pages nearly caught fire in my hands!
And that's only one incredible love scene. There are several more, each one unique, each one so believable that you feel you're there. Jordan is fantastic at making each love scene really COUNT.... each one advances the storyline, each one has a *reason*, each one deepens their love in a new way.
Her books are so addictive....
I'm astounded at how she resolves several very complex plotlines in the very final pages; my jaw drops in a couple of places, not in disbelief but in admiration.
And I feel so much affection for her characters here, as in her other novels; they are that well-drawn, that real, that compelling. These rakes start out as selfish libertines (to put it politely) , and then we come to see that they are far more complex and vulnerable than that. I love all the characters in the NOTORIOUS books. I experience their passions and heartaches and (thank the Lord) VERY satisfying endings. And I'm slightly sad when each book is done, wanting to know what will happen to them next ...
Bravissima. More, more, more. I'm reading THE LOVER next, and I already have THE LORD OF SEDUCTION on pre-order from Amazon. Thanks for hours and hours of reading pleasure, Ms. Jordan! And now I'm going to re-read page 292. :)
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on January 20, 2004
DESIRE continues Nicole Jordan's highly entertaining, emotional, and provocative Notorious series, which began in THE SEDUCTION and continued in THE PASSION. DESIRE is the Earl of Wycliff Lucian Tremayne's turn at center stage -- and he does it so well.
Lucian finds himself in Cornwall, searching for clues to the identity of the mysterious Lord Caliban, who has been betraying England to France in a myriad of spy schemes. Caliban's latest trick has been to steal gold from England and use it to fund Napoleon's armies. Given the disappearance of the latest gold shipment, Lucian is sure that Caliban's henchmen are at work in the area and he is determined to bring them to justice. But his all-business trip takes a surprising turn when he meets Brynn Caldwell. Her beauty is breathtaking and he is immediately and powerfully drawn to her. He knows his feelings are real, despite her protests that they are the result of a gypsy curse laid upon the women of her family, to be fatally attractive to men. Once he realizes that Brynn is a respectable young lady and not the housemaid he originally suspected her of being, he pushes for marriage over her loud protests, ultimately manipulating the situation to attain his desires. Brynn can't refuse Lucian when he offers to pay her family's debts, but that doesn't mean she has to be happy about it either.
Lucian is called away on their wedding night to deal with the Caliban affair, and this event sets the tone for the conflict within Lucian in the rest of the novel: the idea of duty to country vs. the idea of commitment to love and family. This inner turmoil ends up playing a large role in the tale, as Lucian uncovers damning evidence that could destroy his marriage. Coupled with the fact that Lucian is fighting Brynn's (rightful) belief in the curse, the plot becomes highly twisted and emotional.
When I first read the back cover and saw the bit about the gypsy curse, I was leery. But I needn't have worried. The curse is not some paranormal plot device bandied about to give Brynn a flaw. Jordan handles the idea in such a manner that a believer or a skeptic can appreciate it. Lucian, while he longs for Brynn to give up the idea of the curse, does not push her to do so, but waits for her to deal with it in her own way -- a fact I found extremely refreshing and unexpected in light of Lucian's alpha personality.
What I love about Jordan's works is her devotion to character development and the pure feelings of the protagonists for each other. DESIRE is no exception; Jordan lets readers see the mental and emotional workings of both Lucian and Brynn, letting us feel as torn as they themselves do. Accompanying these revelations is the palpable chemistry between the hero and heroine, which is satisfyingly and beautifully fulfilled in love scenes that are lush with sensuality, but never ripen to excessive purple prose.
Characters first seen in the previous Notorious books make brief appearances here. We get to see Damien Sinclair and his wife Vanessa, and we hear about Nick Sabine and his wife Aurora. Raven Kendrick, who first appeared in THE PASSION, is further developed here, and Dare Clune, the devil-may-care Hellfire League leader, shows a surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable side of himself. Raven now has her own story in ECSTACY, and Dare, I was delighted to discover, gets his time in the spotlight in the current release THE PRINCE OF PLEASURE.

Fans of this series will be more than satisfied with this entry. Jordan satisfies with her characteristic deft hand at plotting and luscious prose.
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on December 2, 2003
I have been reading Jordan's books for over a decade, and I keep coming back despite troubling problems with each book. WHY? Because she creates such strong, intriguing characters. Often, they are infuriating, but I figure she is pushing the right buttons in me to provoke such a response. Even when they are infuriating, I long remember them after I put them down.
This book - the third installment in Jordan's Regency era Notorious series - has another of the arrogant alpha males, Lucian Tremayne, Earl of Wycliff. He is a spy for the English government. He comes upon comes across Brynn Caldwell as she is gets out of the water after swimming. He immediately proposes (o-kay) but Brynn says no, that she - and all the women of her family are curse. The curse is a they lure men to love them to their death - sort of like the Leannan Si of Ireland.
Well, a wee curse is nothing to a master spy, so Lucian does not let this stop his pursuit. He finally convinces Brynn to marry him. This creates troubles as Brynn and her family have been smuggling to make ends meet,and Lucian has been sent their to stop the flow of gold going to France. Despite a rocky start to their marriage bed, Lucian and Brynn share desire, though both keep their emotions locked away.
Where I got a wee ticked was his wanting the child and she saying she would give him a son for her freedom. Women just don't carry a child for 9 months and then turn their back, and this is a little trite to boot. Then he says if she wants a child she will have to pursue the conception? Shakes head? I felt like Jordan changed characters on me.
She is a strong writer that keeps me coming back time and again.
Just one of these days she is going to get it perfect and WOW!
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on October 5, 2003
Hmmmmm, well it has taken me some time to read "Desire" ... this was initially because I was somewhat disappointed in "Ecstasy".
However, to my pleasant surprise Desire far exceeds the disappointment of "Ecstasy" and is well worth the read!
A novel based on mystery, mistrust, and passion ... an unlikely mix, but certainly a good read!
Brynn Caldwell, an impoverished gentry living in Cornwall, forced into 'free-trade' to make ends meet .... Lucian, the notorious Lord of Wycliff, working for the Foreign office in search of traitors to the crown ... a curse pushes them apart but their unwanted attraction pulls them together: a battle of wills ensues and in the end will love win out?
Overall a really great read; a real page turner, and interesting until the very end .... (although the ending seemed slightly, only slightly, cliched to moi); I must admit that romance novels that pit hero vs heroine, in respect to fighting their feelings to the bitter end, don't endear themselves to me but this was a very well written book and I thought quite outstanding.
A word of warning though: don't read a Jordan novel unless you like a more "risque" romance novel .... this is not for the TIMID as the sex scenes fairly drip off ("steamy" if you get what I mean) the pages!!
Anyways, definitely worth a read.
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on July 30, 2003
Favorite scene with Brynn-
Going to the fair to see the Gypsy.
Favorite scene with Lucian-
Getting a confession out of his employee.
Brynn's confession of what has been going on with her brother and the conflict in the cave.
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on May 19, 2003
Our �hero� is said to be a great master spy-so how come everyone knows what he�s up to?
Except his wife, of course, who is treated like a brood mare for him to make pregnant so he can have a son. He doesn�t really want to be married, but a recent brush with death makes him long for a son. No love or trust is ever really developed in the relationship, especially when he initiates their wedding night by saying she is going to have to go ahead and consummate the relationship sooner or later so she might as well get on with it. When she says no a second time later on in the book he just plows on ahead anyway.
Then she makes the bargain that as soon as a son is born she can leave. Well what woman in their right mind is simply going to dump their baby? He agrees to it and tells her fine, but if she wants the baby she has to initiate all the lovemaking from now on. Whoa�he was the one who wanted the baby. So he makes her jump through hoops to �please him� in every way while he just lies back and occasionally participates. It is about as romantic as watching grass grow. Finally he decides she has betrayed him and is going to kill her.
Her ambivalence in the marriage has been a-she has no idea who he is because he never spends any time with her apart from forcing his conjugal rights. And b-part of a supposed gipsy curse and she decides she loves him despite everything.
The paranormal aspect is thin but seems the only explanation for her putting up with the appalling way he treats her throughout the entire marriage right up to the last 20 pages of the book. Another turkey from an author who thinks that sex scenes equal romance, and can�t avoid the word erotic. The definite is �ending to arouse sexual desire. The only thing these scenes arouse in me is a desire to throttle any author who portrays non-consensual sex as a given which women just have to put up with, and really like after all anyway because no one in their right mind can resist a rake. Revolting
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on October 22, 2002
That's all this this. I can't express how much I dislike romance novels whose main purpose is to create flimsy scenarios that present opportunities for the hero & heroine to have sex. This is exactly that kind of novel. It reminds me of Lori Foster's novels, but this author handles it with much less skill. The plot is so ridiculous. Are readers really supposed to read this with a straight face? The heroine spurns a handsome, wealthy, titled, devoted man because she's afraid of some inherited curse. That is utterly stupid. Once I read about half-way through, I couldn't finish it.
This novel is all about sexual attraction, not love. I have no aversion to authors who write steamy, explicit sex scenes. However, just like in real life, these mean nothing if the author can't convince readers that the hero & heroine love one another. If you really want to read authors who manage to combine love with steamy sex, try Gaelen Foley or Catherine Anderson.
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on September 22, 2002
This was the first book I read by Nicole Jordan and I have since bought & read ALL of her books (yes, I rounded up the oop ones too). Nicole writes a delightful romance. Captivating, romantic, erotic, Don't miss this great read and pick up any NJ books you can.
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on August 3, 2002
I wonder if I should rate this book? especially since I am trying to get rid of it. OOPS I mean sell it. This book was so boring I had to force myself to finish. (I believe in finishing what I start) The plot was really weak, The 2 main characters said I Love you so much at the end I wanted to ----. Also N.J.
doesnt even tell you at the end if the hero catches the mystery spy or who the mystery spy really is. I am 16 yrs old and the only reason I can see someone liking this book, would be the sexual scenes or maybe the caring of ones family. This is my first N.J. book, sure hope the others are better.
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on June 10, 2002
Having read NJ's first two books of this trilogy (?), I had to purchase DESIRE. Mistake. Couldn't even finish this one. Everything just happened too fast in this book as far as our couple meeting and wedding, and then the story went downhill from there. Marital problems showed up right after their "I do's." They really didn't even know each other long enough to get married! What was the rush NJ? Poor plot. All in all, this was not a well thought out book. Pass.
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