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Desired by Nicola Cornick
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Desired is the fifth book in The Scandalous Women of the Ton series by Nicola Cornick and my second book by this author.

Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent has a reputation on the ton as a woman of excesses, men, clothes, gambling and alcohol are her passion or at least is what she has let others think of her, but in reality Teresa is more innocent than many, she has serious issues with intimacy and she uses the gossip to hide her real self. The only accusation they could make of her is being the cartoonist supporting the reformist movement. But now her false reputation is affecting her, she is being blackmailed by a man who wants to marry her teenager stepdaughter. If that wasn’t enough she is in high risk to be discover as the infamous reformist cartoonist, if this happens she could be hanged for treason. She needs protection, she needs to find a new husband.
Here comes Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury, the only American man in the ton. Before receiving his title from a long distance relative he was a Navy Captain and now as a peer instead of living in excesses like many men of the ton, Owen is trying to make a difference in society. He is the Work Secretary’s man who is investigating the Reformist movement.
What better man for a husband than the man that is investigating her. If Tess marries Owen he won’t be able to prosecute her, as husbands cannot testify against wives. Also he could protect her and her step-kids from infamous people. The best part in Tess’ mind is that he won’t be expecting anything physical and intimate from her, if rumors are true he was seriously injured during the war and is not able to “perform” anymore.
Owen is surprised by Tess’ marriage proposal, he knows there is something more to it but he is very intrigue with this woman of ill reputation. He is sure there is more to her than what people talk and he wants to discover what is behind her façade. And even though she wants a marriage just in name, he wants a marriage in all the sense of the word.
Now that they are spending time together they are taking the risk of falling in love.

From the first moment I liked Tess, her combination of strong and damaged heroine made of her a very likable character, I liked that she fought for what she wanted and was willing to do anything to protect those she love, even to sacrifice herself. Almost at the end she lost some points with me when she broke her promises to Owen, Twice!! I really wanted to scream at her for doing it (I may have mentally done it).

Owen is sweet and caring. I loved that he saw behind Tessa’s façade and knew there was more to her than what she wanted other people to see. I also loved how steady and patience he was with her and knew to give her what she needed it when she needed it. The only think I didn’t like about him was his unnecessary lie about his “first love”.

I really like that they spend time together and started almost like friends who then fall in love and became more. What I didn’t like was the resolution to Tess’ intimacy issues. During the whole book we read countless times about her inability to be intimate with a man, she doesn’t even like to be touch by anybody and then in one night she gets over all her issues... Hmmm? sorry but I don’t believe that.

There is also a little parallel story about Tom Bradshaw, a character we know from previous books. Even though is implied something big is happening with him we didn’t see the “results” to that event. I don’t know if we are going to learn more it in future books or Mrs. Cornick thought it was enough with just the allusion to the situation. I know I’m being vague but I don’t want to give much away about this.

Desired was a fun and entertaining read. This book was perfectly pace and was getting a rating of 4 ½ paws until the last quarter of it when events started to rush and the resolution to issues felt forced and unrealistic. I know this is fiction but I think if these events had been better paced, they would have felt more real.
Even though Desired is part of a series and characters from previous books made some appearances I can say this book can be read as a stand alone without a problem. If you are a lover of this genre you will like Desired and Mrs. Cornick books in general, she is one of those authors with a very beautiful and unique writing voice. ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
I really enjoyed reading about a mature non-virgin (technically) heroine and a truly heroic hero. I'll definitely check out more books by Nicola Cornick. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
(4.5 for a slow start, but it finished strong so I'll bump it up to 5)

This was the first Nicola Cornick novel I've read, but after this one I'll definitely be looking for more! The beginning was a bit difficult to get into I thought, but once it got going it was difficult to put it down. Both Tess and Owen had quite a bit of baggage going into their marriage, (which readers who have read the other novels in the series may already have known, and new readers will have it all explained to them eventually, so don't worry) and at times it seems they'll never be able to get around it. I loved the development of the relationship between these two--it was really very nicely done and quite sweet. The political/radical storyline, however, didn't ever quite feel totally developed--other than the fact that Tess's first husband embraced the cause, we really don't get a good feel for why she was willing to risk so much for it or even exactly what it was the radicals were hoping to solve and how. Again, perhaps this was covered in earlier novels, maybe not--in the end it really didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book at all, so I'm wiling to overlook it. On the whole, this one kept me up until the wee hours finishing it, and I look forward to more from this author. ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
originally appeared on:Bookshelf Confessions

"Let them whisper-the more they whisper, the farther away they are from the truth". –I really loved this quote from Tessa.:)

This is the first book that I’ve read from this author, and I wasn’t disappointed, the story had me at its best.. :D I usually avoided writing long reviews, but this is the shortest I could manage with this book..:)

Aside from the very beautiful cover, Desired is a book that covers not only romance, but also politics (reforms) and the roles and rights of women (Spousal abuse) in the society. It’s also a book of emotional wounds, hopes and all of the heart’s desires.

I really enjoyed reading Tessa and Owen’s cat-and-mouse interactions. These two characters have been developed well. From the very first page of knowing them, I am already engaged as to what would happen to these two. Their train of thought, was fascinating, and seeing them try to discover and peel each other’s secrets is what I look forward to the most…

I loved how Ms. Cornick developed the chemistry, it wasn’t forced at all, the fusion of these two was just plain perfect. Tessa may have look like a featherbrain, but underneath her smiles, and tempting body, lies an intelligent, admirable and caring woman.. she actually leads a reform movement and has an alter ego named Jupiter (a cartoonist), whom the government is pursuing. Owen is very tender, understanding, and a real protector, and he would do everything to heal the emotional wounds Tessa has.

I loved the development of the story, especially how the two of them started to trust each other, and how their romance developed from pretense into something their heart’s desired. But at the end though, it seemed to me, that the story was rushed into its end. It’s like the author realizes, she’d written a lot already, so she decided to give it an end. It was just at the end of the story though, I still enjoyed this a lot.

Another good thing about this book is there’s the right humor and intensity .I nearly died of laughter when Owen's virility was called into question..lol, and I shed tears when Tessa's true history was known.

DESIRED moved me, I laughed and cried all throughout the story, and most importantly I had gained a better understanding of what happened in this regency era, but there’s a lot to learn more with the last book in the series, “Forbidden” coming this Summer 2012.

It’s a refreshing, entertaining, fascinating, heart-wrenching romance! A must-read!

Warning though, after reading this book, you would have an insatiable urge to buy the other books to learn about the side character’s own stories.

♥♥~♥♥♥ ♥:)♥♥~♥ ♥♥ ( )
  avry15 | Mar 23, 2012 |
Nicola Cornick, you stay away from my nose! Remember how last October I inhaled Notorious because it was as addictive as dark chocolate? Well, I should have known better because Desired totally has this reader hooked on Nicola Cornick! Tessa and Owen had me at “hello” with their cat-and-mouse introduction. Their interactions were spot-on with the right balance between humor and intensity to satisfy this reader. I nearly died of laughter when Owen’s virility was called into question, and I shed buckets of tears when Tessa’s true history came to light. The story itself seems a little too picture-perfect as far as conflict and resolution goes, but the characters made the journey pretty darn enjoyable to worry about the details. I can attest that I immediately went and bought the first 3 books of the series to learn more about the side characters. If that is not an indicator of my Nicola Cornick addiction, I don’t know what is! ( )
  theepicrat | Feb 4, 2012 |
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Book description
Tess Darent’s world is unravelling. Danger threatens her stepchildren and she is about to be unmasked as a radical political cartoonist and thrown into gaol. The only thing that can save her is a respectable marriage. But when it comes to tying the knot Tess requires a very special husband – one who has neither the desire nor the ability to consummate their marriage.

Owen Purchase, Viscount Rothbury cannot resist Tess when she asks for the protection of his name. But he has no intention of making a marriage in name only. Will the handsome sea captain be able to persuade the notorious widow to give her heart as well as her reputation into his safekeeping?
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Teresa, Dowager Marchioness of Darent, is rumored to have exhausted her four deceased husbands with her insatiable needs. Through clever marriages to men who would ask nothing of her physical self, Tessa has remained rather innocent in the ways of the bedroom. But now she's on the verge of losing everything and wants to take care of the stepson she's grown to adore. Enter Captain Owen Purchase, a handsome American adventurer who has come into the title of Viscount Rothbury. And the rumors surrounding his injuries at sea suggest that he could fit Tessa's requirements. But little does Tessa realize that the gossipmongers are wrong. She just might lose her heart, and her desires, to the most unlikely of men.… (more)

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