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Tall Dark and Disreputable

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Book reviewed by Cybil Solyn

Portia Tofton has been let down by the men in her life. Her father didn't protect her. Her husband died in scandal and in debt. Her brothers don't really care for her. And her longtime friend, and girlhood crush, is wrongly accusing her of trying to manipulate him into marrying her - again.

Mateo Cardea never saw eye to eye with his father about how the family business should be run, nor how his own life should be run for that matter, but he loved the business and his father. So when he discovers that Portia has been left controlling share of the business, the only conclusion he can draw is that she's trying to force him into marriage like she did when she eighteen. Like before, he'll have none of it, but he's determined to discover what she's up to.

I quite enjoyed the story of Mateo and Portia. The past they shared and how they have changed was intriguing and had me turning pages well into the night. Both of them share so much; they have checkered pasts, have been on the outs with their family, and are motivated by the goal of living their life on their own terms. Which is why it's so much fun to watch them fight their attraction to one another.

Portia knows that Mateo needs to be "free." Mateo understands that Portia loves her home and the land she works so hard to landscape. They can't see how they can work...and they aren't even sure they trust one another. Watching the two try and sort out these issues while running around Britain on what seems to be a wild goose chase is a ton of fun. I didn't want to put this book down. The pace is fast, and the chemistry between Portia and Mateo sizzles off the page. The supporting cast is equally good but never took away from the main story.

Bottom Line: A great read that you'll race to finish.

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“A house for a family business left me wondering how much I would risk to go all in.”

March 2012, 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historicals
ISBN: 037329686X

Back Cover Blurb:

Portia Tofton has always yearned for brooding Mateo Cardea. His dark good looks filled her girlish dreams—dreams that were cruelly shattered when Mateo rejected her hand in marriage. Now Portia's home has been gambled away, and Mateo is the only man she can turn to. This time, however, she has in her possession something he wants—and she finds herself striking a deal with the devil himself!

Danger is all around—but Portia has no choice but to trust this man who once betrayed her….

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