Author: Alice Lake
Title: "Dangerous kisses"
Book 1 in series Guild of hybrids
Main characters: Eric Yorke, lord Mathieson and Lavinia Halls
First of all, I would like to thank Alice Lake for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review :) you are a sweetheart and it was a pleasure reading your novel :) and before you guys start to question my honest judgement of this book just because I got it for free, I want to stop that right now... you should already know that about me, and if you don't, I'll tell it again :) I am very proud of the fact that I'm always sharing with you my honest opinions :) am I excited about getting ARCs and free books? of course :) does it affect my reviews? absolutely not :) so when I say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I mean it :) and now let me tell you more :)
This story fits perfectly with a lot of books I've been reading lately :) and by that, I mean stories where I have nothing against the hero, but it's the heroine who's my favourite :) as I said, I really liked Eric... the only thing going against him is his awful ex-fiancee... let me explain :) he was engaged for a very long time to Clara, a deceptively nice young woman... that is until he finds her in bed with another man... he immediately terminates their engagement, but gives her the opportunity to announce it, otherwise she would be completely ruined... unfortunately he underestimates how stubborn she is... because Clara has a revenge plan of her own... she hires Lavinia, a member of Guild of hybrids, a secret society of women who help other women... to ruin Eric... have I already mentioned how much I hate her? ;) she of course tells Lavinia a sob story to convince her to accept her case... so now let me go back to Lavinia and why I love her :) she's smart and logical... well, at least most of the time... or at least logical about other people, except Eric ;) she's clever and level-headed and I adored her... :) I loved how real their relationship was... there were sparks and everything, but it was definitely not love at first sight ;) even when they were thrown into a... well, let's call it a compromising situation, it wasn't magically and immediately resolved :) it's really hard for me to say more without spoiling you some stuff, so how about I tell you a bit more about some secondary characters :)
I was a big fan of the idea of a secret society of women... with different talents, helping other women... and remember, that we are talking about times when women were supposed to be wives and nothing more... so the idea of a whole bunch of them being brave and kick-ass and brilliant... I am a fan :) we get to actually meet a few of them in this book and I am looking forward to learn even more about the memebrs and the whole society in general, because it is still pretty mysterious :) but a real scene-stealer for me was Larissa, Lavinia's younger sister :) she's a belly-dancing-snake-charming-spitfire of a girl so imagine my joy when I discovered that she will be the heroine of book #2 :) I simply cannot wait to read her story :) I want to mention one more person, Charlotte :) she's Eric's cousin... young and romantic, but a sweetheart :) I would love to know more about her... :) that was my not-so-subtle wink to the author that maybe... you know... there's a story there somewhere... ;)
Overall I really enjoyed this book :) it was a fast read with a very good writing style :) and who doesn't love secret societies? ;) I loved how real the relationship between Lavinia and Eric was... how it changed with time... it was a lovely historical romance that you can totally read as a standalone, cause the whole situation with our main couple and all that is resolved before the end :) but I need to warn you... you're gonna want to read at least book #2 after this one... because Larissa is a hoot :) I think I need to go and pester Alice about the release date of that gem... ;) in a loving way of course ;) it's an absolutely fantastic introduction to this lovely series that will leave you wanting and needing to know more... ;)
I have just a few quotes for you, to show a glimpse of the interactions inside this lovely story :) there were of course much more in the actual book but they were either too long or way too spoilerific, so these three will have to suffice ;) happy reading :)
Part of a converstion between Lavinia and Eric :)
"'Why are you here?'
He shook his head as if addressing a child. 'Is that any way to talk to a caller?'
'Lord Mathieson, as far as I'm concerned, you have ceased to be worthy of any kind of polite manners whatsoever.'
This elicited a bark of laughter from him.
'I was not joking in the slightest,' she said dryly.
'I believe you wholeheartedly,' he replied with good humor."
A little scene between Lavinia, Eric and Larissa, to show you why the younger Halls sister is my favourite ;)
"'Good Lord, what happened to you?' Larissa declared upon seeing Lord Mathieson.
'Larissa, where are your manners?' Lavinia said through clipped teeth.
Larissa looked at her sideways and shrugged. 'Good day, my lord. That is a mighty black eye you got there,' she remarked, causing Lord Mathieson to chuckle.
'Is it that noticeable?'
'Yes sir!' Larissa grinned. Lavinia nudged her in the ribs.
'Am I a fright?' He examined his reflection in the mirror.
'Apart from the eye, the rest of you will do,' Larissa replied with a smile."
Part of a conversation between Eric and his cousins :)
"'How was your journey?' Eric asked once the butler left.
Margaret handed out the cups and made herself comfortable. Her skirts billowed around her like a cloud. 'The journey was as it always is, tedious and boring.'
Charlotte nodded quickly before taking a sip. 'But then we arrived here only to find scandal and adventures and murder have been afoot!' she said all in one breath.
Eric's heart skipped a beat. 'Murder?!'
'Well, perhaps not murder,' Charlotte waved the comment away with a grin, 'but you have to admit, it does sound so much more exciting put that way.'"