Too Wicked To Tame
by Sophie Jordan
Lady Portia Derring has been her family's sacrificial lamb for the past five seasons, constantly having her duty to marry and save the family from ruin drilled into her. Portia's parents did not have a happy marriage, her father controlled every aspect of her mother's life, and her mother left her family a week after her husband's death. Portia has vowed to never marry or allow a man that kind of control. She wants nothing more than to have the freedom to join her mother in Greece when she is finally sent for.
For the past five seasons Portia has managed to scare off all of her suitors, but unfortunately for Portia, her family has gotten really desperate and have shipped her off to the wilds of Yorkshire and the home of the Earl of Moreton. Before Portia can reach her destination and scare off the latest potential suitor, her coach gets mired in mud and her driver abandons Portia and her maid. With her anger flying high, Portia sets off in the storm to find help and is nearly trampled by a madman riding at breakneck speed. Little does Portia know that this ”madman” is the man her family wants her to marry, and the one man that could make Portia want to give up her dreams of traveling with her mother.
The Moreton clan is known in Yorkshire as being afflicted with madness and no respectable family will ally themselves with the ”Mad Moretons.” Heath, the Earl of Moreton, has determined that the family line will die with him after watching his mother, father, and baby brother suffer and die from the madness. Heath believes he is content with his lot in life, until he nearly runs down Portia Derring and he starts to dream of something more. Even covered in mud and shrieking at him like a shrew Heath is drawn to her, but he cannot risk spreading the madness. With his Grandmother constantly trying to force them into a compromising position, will Heath follow his heart or his head?
Portia was an equally intriguing character. Even though she was the daughter of a duke, she wasn't spoiled as her family was completely destitute, and it was only the family name that kept them barely afloat. Portia hadn't seen her mother in eight years and it was the dream that her mother would finally send for her as promised that kept her going when her family threw her at every wealthy man they could find. Her interactions with Heath were both amusing and filled with a sexual tension that nearly leapt off the page.
Heath's pain and anguish at having the madness hanging over his family's head is palpable, as is his conflict over his desire and feelings for Portia. He tried his best to protect his two sisters from the disdain of others, not always with the best of results, but you had to love him for trying. The situation seemed so impossible, that I found myself skipping to the end of the book to make sure that Heath and Portia do get their happily ever after. Ms. Jordan had me on tenterhooks, and even though I knew it had to turn out right, I was still holding my breath waiting for it.
Ms. Jordan has certainly lived up to the potential she showed in her first book, Once Upon a Wedding Night, and in Too Wicked to Tame has written a thoroughly wonderful and exciting book that readers will devour with pleasure. It's going straight on to my Keeper Shelf.
“The best made plans always go awry when love slips in.”
March 2007, 371 pages
Headstrong Lady Portia Derring has an impeccable pedigree . . . and not a penny to her name. Which is why she is alone on the rain-swept Yorkshire moor, waiting for a wealthy earl she has never met but whom her family insists she wed. When she's nearly trampled by the blackguard's stallion, Portia is more determined than ever to refuse Heath Moreton's suit. Handsome devil he may be, but she could never marry a rogue who's so clearly out of control!
An avowed bachelor, scion of the notorious "Mad" Moreton clan, Heath won't be shackled in matrimony. Why then does this rain-drenched beauty excite him so? Desire consumes him, but the eminently beddable lady resists his well-practiced seductions. Now only one route remains: Heath must ignore his bad blood, vanquish his inner beast . . . and prove to Portia that she's the only woman capable of taming his heart.