Redonk Nutshell: Mistaken identity, amnesia, and desperation collide between a Duke and a gentlewoman hoping to cling to her childhood estate

I love Teresa Medeiros, so it hurts me to admit that I had a hell of a time getting into this book. It dragged a bit for me to the point where I actually put it down and came back to it weeks later.  The good news is I’m glad I came back to it because I ended up really enjoying it.

Basically, we start out with a young boy, Sterling Harlowe, who is more or less “sold” to a rich relative so the relative can pass down his Dukedom to a male heir.  Fast forward, and our little boy has grown into a dark and notorious libertine.  When the estate his estranged mother becomes entangled in a bizarre claim by its tenant, Sterling takes it upon himself to make the trek to the house himself to, more or less, toss it’s inhabitants out on their arse.  What he doesn’t count on, however, is being attacked by a tree limb and knocked unconscious.

When Laura Fairleigh comes across a handsome man lying asleep in the woods she finds herself reflecting back to fairy tales and wakes him with a kiss.  When the man can’t remember a thing about who he is or where he comes from, Laura grabs the opportunity to inform him of their engagement.  You see, Laura is desperate to hang on to her home, an estate which supposedly will remain hers if she marries before her birthday, otherwise it will fall into the hands of The Duke of Devonbrooke.  Laura takes the man to her home and nurses him back to health, and in the three weeks leading up to their marriage, Laura and and he end up having something resembling a genuine attraction to each other.

A problem arises, however, when Sterling takes another blow to the head upon their exit from the chapel after their wedding and remembers everything.  Laura, to her horror, realizes she hasn’t wed a nobody but instead her archenemy.

What dragged for me was the beginning, the part where we get an idea of how dark and unconscionable Sterling is.  Laura, and her family’s introduction dragged for me as well.  It wasn’t until Sterling starts to assume his role as Laura’s dream rescuer when things began to pick up.

The best way to describe what happens when Sterling’s memories return? A trainwreck.  And I couldn’t look away. You can’t help but root for Laura, despite the blatant deception she attempted. In a way she gets her own comeuppance since she unknowingly besotted herself with her nemesis. Regardless, it’s fun to watch these two wade between what emotions were real and what were imagined.

Overall, I ended up enjoying A Kiss to Remember.  Despite the slow beginning, once the action got rolling it trekked along at an unstoppable path through the end.  The character development was stellar.

A Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros, 368 pgs, 2001

Rating: C+

Romance: 2/5                     Raunch: 2/5

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