A Notorious Proposition by Adele Ashworth
Reviewed by Andrea Williamson
When I read my first Adele Ashworth book, DUKE OF SIN, I was instantly hooked. I absolutely adored her voice and immediately wanted to glom her backlist. Unfortunately, most of her backlist was (and still is) out of print and some of those were going for (and still are) what it would cost to fill the tank in your car with gas nowadays. The one book that I desperately wanted was WINTER GARDEN. I had heard tons of people rave and rave about it and I just had to find out what the fuss was about. I was lucky enough to track down a used copy for about $15.00, which I considered a steal. When I received my coveted copy, I devoured it, enjoyed it immensely and knew exactly why so many people consider it an all time favorite. So, when I heard the news that Ms. Ashworth was going to revisit the mythical town of
Two years ago, Lady Ivy Wentworth gave her heart to Garrett Burke, only to have it broken. While on assignment for the Crown, Garrett left Ivy asleep in his bed to rendezvous with a thief in his search for the missing Martello diamonds . . . and didn’t return.
Two years later, Ivy, a known seer, comes to Winter Garden at the request of the new mysterious Marquess of Rye under the guise of ridding his new house of ghosts. She, of course, has her own reasons (which include visions of her brother, Ian, in trouble) for accepting the invitation. Shortly after arriving at her temporary residence, Ivy is informed that a gentleman is waiting for her in the parlor. When Ivy discovers that the gentleman is Garrett Burke, at first she is anything but thrilled.
After being ambushed and left for dead two years ago, Garrett has little memory of the events leading up to that fateful night. He remembers Ivy, but no specific details of their relationship. He has his own agenda in Winter Garden, searching for the elusive Martello diamonds, and will stop at nothing to achieve it. He enlists the help of Ivy and soon their passion for each other is rekindled despite the fact that someone else is threatening them and also looking for the diamonds.
Reunited lovers is one of my favorite romance themes and this story is one of the best I’ve ever read. While some people consider this a sequel to Ms. Ashworth’s WINTER GARDEN, it certainly stands just fine on its own. (Though fans of WINTER GARDEN will be happy that Madeleine and Thomas play a pivotal part in A NOTORIOUS PROPOSITION.) Garrett and Ivy are very well written and completely developed characters who practically leap off the pages. Ivy is a strong, intelligent heroine who says what she thinks, but doesn’t overreact or do something stupid when Garrett reveals his secret. Garrett is a sexy, determined hero who is also incredibly sincere. When he reveals to Ivy that he can’t remember much of their past and she accepts it and fills in the blanks for him, it was quite emotional and very romantic. Because of their past, there is a tremendous amount of underlying sexual tension between Garrett and Ivy which only adds depth to this beautiful love story. The scenes when Garrett and Ivy are searching for the diamonds through secret corridors and hidden passageways were very reminiscent of my first book love, Nancy Drew. And it is during those scenes that they rediscover their passion for one another. This book is brilliantly written, very well paced and I will wholeheartedly admit that I enjoyed it even more than I did WINTER GARDEN. And it has me eagerly anticipating Ian’s story!
Make room on your keeper shelf next to WINTER GARDEN for A NOTORIOUS PROPOSITION! I highly recommend it!