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The Danger of Desire (Dartmouth Brides) (Volume 3) Paperback – April 4, 2017
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In order to successfully complete his latest interesting “special” assignment for the British government, naval captain Hugh McAlden needs a thief. Fortunately for Hugh, pickpocket Meggs Tanner decides to relieve him of his pocket watch that very same day. Convincing Meggs to come and work for him isn’t easy, but eventually Hugh persuades her that the monetary reward will be well worth her time. All Meggs has to do is infiltrate an upper-class household in the guise of a new maid and steal some papers. Hugh soon discovers that training Meggs for her new role is much easier than letting her go once the mission is completed. Strongly developed characters, vivid writing, and an abundance of steamy sensuality all add up to another winner for literary newcomer Essex, who is quickly perfecting her ability to deliver well-crafted historical romances fueled by equal measures of sizzling passion and dangerous intrigue. --John Charles --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Publisher Weekly's Top 10 Fall Romance Picks for 2011
"Meggs was a lovely character, outwardly hardened by her years on the street, but with a core of softness inside. She began the book almost feral in her reluctance to trust most people and her transformation felt believable to me. Her protective relationship with Timmy, her twelve year old brother, and her feelings for Hugh touched me and evoked my sympathies. [Essex has] a gift for writing endearing heroines and hot love scenes." -Dear Author
"The Danger of Desire is an intriguing and glorious novel with dazzling characters that solidifies Elizabeth Essex as a great talent." -The Romance Reviews
"There is something distinctive and gorgeous about Ms. Essex's writing--I can't think of any other writer whose prose is as languorously specific as hers. The Danger of Desire ... is a transcendentally pleasurable book to read." -All About Romance
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Top Customer Reviews
Megs and her brother are orphaned and live on what Megs is able to steal. She is quite good at picking pockets and while she practices her trade, she is watched by a man destined to change her life.
Captain Hugh McAlden recognizes Megs abilities and he knows she is just the person to assist him in ferreting out a traitor to the Crown. Hugh offers Megs quite a bit of money if she will help him and Megs, who is looking for a way to hoist her brother out of the London sums, agrees to the plan. Both she and Tim move into the Captain's home.
Hugh is quite attracted to Megs but he initially fights it every step of the way. Megs is wary and defensive. These two spar quite a bit both physically (Megs is quick to swing a fist) and verbally. Her wariness was understandable but went on a little too long. Megs has a hidden past and the reader can figure out that she is much more than she appears. Megs hides behind a mask of indifference, insouciance and plain belligerence at times. She uses foul language and is a tough negotiator.
Her skills are indeed amazing though. She is an accomplished pickpocket, can get into locked rooms and desks and probably could crack many a safe. She is proud of her talents which she attributes to a woman who took her and her brother in when her parents died.
Hugh doesn't quite know what to think of his little thief. He respects her skills but does not admire how she achieved them. Hugh is a morally upright person and Megs just throws him for a loop. This couple is unique in that they discover the wonders of first love together. However, their bond is fragile and their emotional connection is not overwhelming. It does not take much for these two to have doubts about their relationship. This happens often in this novel, communication is not their strong suit and I would have liked to have seen more honesty between them. For a couple who have to depend upon each other to find a traitor they are unwilling to take a further step of emotional intimacy for far too long. In some ways they are more interesting apart than when they are together.
I finally gave up when I realized I would have to translate way too much. I just don't want to work that hard while reading a romance. Meggs gets redeemed, Hugh winds up a happy man, good for them. Me, I'm out $8.69 for unreadable tedious unfulfilling mush. Granted I gave up at 28% done! but done is what I am with Elizabeth Essex.
SPOILERS: This wasn't a "no means yes" situation typical of most romance novels where the hero "convinces" the heroine to admit her own lust. And it wasn't a deliberate assault against her. Come to think on it, this encounter was a very accurate depiction of a real life situation, when a reasonably nice guy fails to get consent - he just assumed it was there. The author deliberately wrote the scene from inside his head, and as a jaded reader I assumed things were okay, since romance heroines put up with ridiculous situations all the time. So her seconds-too-late scream of "no!" at his penetration was as shocking to me as it was to him. He stopped, and his shame was heartfelt. But two days later he was annoyed with her for "still not trusting him when he had done everything in his power to prove himself trustworthy"? Really? The "somewhat mitigating" factor in his background, if given earlier, would have at least cushioned the reader during the incident. As it was, it just ruined the damn book for me. I only waded through the second half of the book in hopes it might somehow redeem itself, but it didn't.
I fell in love with the first Essex book I read, which was her most recent, _A Scandal to Remember_. I assumed her other books would be as enjoyable, since it had two likeable characters united against a shared situation. I was disappointed with _Pursuit of Pleasure_ for its' truly damaging deception. I enjoyed _Almost a Scandal_, but reviews of her other novels make it clear the rest of her catalog is not for me. :-( Maybe she'll write another good one in the future.
When Hugh McAlden hired the "street rats" Meggs Evans and her brother Tanner in order top help him find a spy, he didn't know that those two would change his life forever. Somehow this young woman and her brother get under his skin and what should have been strictly professional, well, it becomes so much more.
But can Meggs become a part of Hugh's world or...might there be something more about her and her brother?
As the story was also interesting, fast-paced and on the whole gripping and captivating, this is definitely a book that I will read again and I'll probably look for other books by Elizabeth Essex.