Ravishing in Red (Rarest Blooms Series #1)

Ravishing in Red (Rarest Blooms Series #1)

by Madeline Hunter
3.8 72

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Ravishing in Red (Rarest Blooms Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Her father died during a scandal in which he never had time to prove his innocence. His faithful daughter Audrianna Kelmsleigh rejects the belief that her dad committed the heinous crime of sedition. She learns the sad truth that a woman who is independent must learn to protect herself as she travels to the Two Swords Coaching Inn near Brighton with plans to confront the man she blames for her father's death, prosecutor Lord Sebastian Sommerhays. Sebastian is happy that Kelmsleigh is dead as the man deserved death. However, during a fracas at the Two Swords Coaching Inn, he is shot. Worse to avoid a scandal that would further destroy Audrianna's reputation, he is forced to marry her though he enjoyed stealing the kiss. She persuades her new husband to help her prove the innocence or guilt of her father. Neither expected to fall in love with one another nor begin to find information leading to traitors willing to kill two more people to keep their dastardly activity secret. This is a super historical and a superb romantic mystery starring two likable beloved enemies. The story line is fast-paced whether the focus is on proving her father's innocence or guilt or on the romance. Madeline Hunter provides a powerful tale as an independent woman needs to protect herself with love. Harriet Klausner
c21joanneb More than 1 year ago
Excellent historical romance!!! Loved this book, great characters, romance, sensual, funny and sad parts, very good read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Audrianna's gentle and kind heart captures her husband in every way. "In case you should wonder"...my favorite part (their commitment to fidelity). Read it and you'll know what I mean. The characters so really witty. Madeline Hunter really draws your heart into the story.
LEH0644 More than 1 year ago
Audrianna Kelmsleigh set out to meet with a mysterious person known as Domino to obtain information that would clear her father’s name. When Lord Sebastian Summerhays entered the room, she naturally thought he was Domino. In the middle of a passionate kiss, the real Domino came in. He tried to leave and a pistol went off grazing the arm of Summerhays. This led to gossip and scandal sheets. He asked her to marry him to alleviate the scandal. Together they worked to uncover the scandal of bad gunpowder which caused the deaths of British soldiers when their guns did not fire. Both were convinced of her father’s innocence and they just had to find the proof. Great book as Audrianna and Sebastian realize the love they have for each other in a time where love does not enter into marriage.
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AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Rarest Blooms series by Madeline Hunter, a consummate storyteller who weaves beautiful, sexy, and thrilling stories of love and mystery set in the Regency era. Audrianna Kelmsleigh doesn’t believe her father intentionally tampered with gunpowder in a disastrous conspiracy that cost soldiers’ lives in the Napoleonic wars and prompted his own suicide. As the story opens, she is at an inn, with a pistol, seeking a man—known as the Domino—when she meets Lord Sebastian Sommerhays, the second son of a marquess. Sebastian is also involved in the investigation when Audrianna’s bravado foils his plans. He is attracted to the beautiful and reckless young woman (as she is to him) and they share an intimate kiss before disaster strikes, tumbling their lives into chaos and scandal. Audrianna lives with her cousin, Daphne, a widow who owns a flower business—the Rarest Blooms—and shares her home with two other women. Daphne is a kind and unobtrusive host and landlady, but also a bit of a cipher as we don’t know much about her past.  She and Audrianna are very close and Celia and Lizzie round out the members of the household as rumors swirl about all the ladies’ pasts, hinting at future stories to come. Sebastian has a crippled older brother, Morgan, with whom he shares his home. It is nice to see their friendship and love for one another in an everyday domestic setting, one that mirrors Audrianna’s own. Sebastian sits in the House of Lords for Morgan in addition to his own busy government work. I really liked Morgan, Sebastian’s brother. Audrianna and he form a close friendship, one that rouses Sebastian’s jealousy. While Sebastian wants to possess her body, he fears that Morgan seems to have her heart. Audrianna feels compassion and empathy for Morgan and he is like a brother to her. His easygoing temper and calm listening skills serve as a buffer between Sebastian and herself. But Sebastian wants more from Audrianna, something that he didn’t intend, and neither did she. He wants her whole heart. Sebastian’s mother is all that is proper and a vigilant stickler for propriety and following society’s rules. She despairs of Sebastian’s past sexual proclivities—they remind her of her late husband’s intrigues—and is resentful that her beloved heir, Morgan, is emotionally and physically damaged while her younger son is a healthy rake.  We get a scandalous glimpse into Sebastian’s thoroughly debauched past when he visits Lord Castleford to discuss business at his apartments early in the story. Two young women with eager and open invitations for group sex are reluctantly declined by Sebastian, but he waits in an outer room as Lord Castleford indulges. Castleford’s provocative offer to Sebastian  (“side by side, just like old times?”) is shockingly representative of the kinds of activities that Sebastian willingly engaged in. Nothing is described but it is both vivid and powerful in its intimations. I look forward to a future story featuring the promiscuous and wily Lord Castleford. Sebastian is a very sexy yet enigmatic hero and Polly Lee reads him most seductively. He’s also quiet, observant, and very sensual and erotic in his bed play with Audrianna. Yet he’s also a difficult man to get to know. He becomes more and more interested in Audrianna as he gets to know her; her quiet strength, loyalty to her friends, determination, kindness, as well as her beauty enchant him and he comes to deeply love and care for her. He recognizes that his attempts to get this untraditional woman to obey him will be useless and Audrianna is not afraid to stand up to him. As they get to know each other, he slowly lets her into his life. The scene in the “observatory” is especially beautifully-rendered in its simplicity and tenderness and, later, when he comforts her in their bed chamber, it is heartbreaking. The mystery of Audrianna’s father and the gunpowder is a gripping secondary story that rivals the tension in the love story. The early eighteenth century is brought to life in this story with careful attention to the production of gunpowder, soldiers’ broken lives after war, the limitations and manipulation of women, and the strictures of Polite Society. But there is also the universal human kindnesses of love and friendship. Madeline Hunter’s writing is very authentic and visceral. I look forward to listening to more books in the series read by Polly Lee and reading more by Madeline Hunter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Good Read, I started with book 3 and had to go to the beginning, now I can not put them down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read. The main characters and their supporting cast were excellent. Hunter captures your attention with very good writing. Bravo Ms. Hunter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story.
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