The Forbidden Lord
Grade : A-

Odd as it may sound, I can often judge how much I enjoyed a book by simply counting how many times I wanted to clobber the hero with his own boot. There's just something about the alpha male. He's maddening and sometimes amusing, but he has a heart of gold, and his redemption at the hands of the heroine is always fulfilling - sometimes even emotionally stirring. Jordan Willis, the hero of The Forbidden Lord, is the type of alpha hero who is lovable, but also needs plenty of boot-clobbering.

Jordan Willis, Earl of Blackmore, is powerful, handsome and completely arrogant in his opinions on the folly of falling in love. His amorous attentions are saved for lonely widows and those women who make pleasure their business. So when he finds himself alone in his carriage with a complete innocent - a rector's daughter - whom he had mistaken for a widow, he is totally unprepared for the desire that overwhelms him. He is even less prepared to meet up with her months later - disguised as the bewitching niece of his most vocal political enemy.

Emily Fairchild could only dream of being a lady until she is made an offer she can't refuse. She must pose as Lord Nesfield's niece and help him find the man who tried to elope with his daughter, or he will make public what he knows of her mother's mysterious death. Emily gives in to his unscrupulous demands, and by posing as his niece, she is able to gain entry into society. Still she is terrified that Nesfield will ruin not only her life but her father's as well. And what if the Earl of Blackmore recognizes her?

Jordan and Emily spend much of their time dancing - not just at balls but around each other as well. Jordan is determined to reveal her masquerade. Emily is determined to keep her mask firmly in place while uncovering the identity of the man who tried to run away with Nesfield's daughter, Sophie. The more their attraction grows, the more desperate both Jordan and Emily become until the tension snaps, resulting in a seduction and an abduction.

With this latest book in the Lord series, Jeffries has struck gold. The war of wills between Jordan and Emily is wonderfully written, and I loved the fact that Emily often put Jordan in his place with her verbal set downs. Both characters could have been over the top and stereotypical, but Jeffries manages to keep them real by allowing them to make mistakes and realize the foolishness of their actions.

Jordan is a great hero. When his arrogance becomes too much, Jeffries gives us a little something to chuckle at, bringing him back down among the mortals. Never once is he painted into the role of the "perfect gentleman." Emily is also a wonderful heroine. As she struggles to combine the masquerade with reality, her behavior, which is neither truly good or truly bad, makes her easy for any woman to relate to. Sometimes she over reacts, and at other times she doesn't react enough.

The tension between Emily and Jordan begins to crackle with sensuality very early in the book - several scenes are meant to tease - but it's hundreds of pages before they finally give in to their urges. When the scene finally comes however, it isn't a release from the tension, it just throws another wrench into both their plans! Jeffries makes up for it later - with a very steamy encounter inside a moving carriage.

This book has only a very minor flaw. In order to have better understood Emily's motives for going along with Nesfield's plan, I would have liked to see a bit more of her relationship with her father. They really only have one scene together before she leaves for London. I would have liked to get a better sense of why she feels the needs to protect him. A little deeper insight into their relationship would have made the story completely perfect in my opinion.

As it is, I am eagerly awaiting the third installment in the trilogy. I'm hoping for Ian's story. Ian is one of Jordan's closest friends who is spotted kissing a young woman on a balcony at the end of The Forbidden Lord. He seems nice enough in this book, but I have a feeling I'm going to wish I had a boot nearby. . . .

 

Reviewed by Kate Smith
Grade : A-

Sensuality: Hot

Review Date : February 24, 1999

Publication Date: 1999

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Recent Comments …

  1. What kept me reading was the sheer unpredictability of the storyline. I knew David’s and Chelsea’s paths would cross again…

Kate Smith

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