Reviewed by JenI love a good Beauty and the Beast story --and this one delivered in every way. My only complaint is that it's over.
Sidonie's sister Roberta has amassed an enormous gambling debt and the man she owes it to, is her husband's greatest enemy, Jonas Merrick. There is no way Roberta will be able to pay back the money, so Jonas agrees to let her repay him in trade. What better way to get revenge on his horrible cousin, than to cuckold him?
The thing is, Roberta's husband is violently abusive and if he were catch wind of any of this, Roberta's life could be forfeit. So Sidonie agrees to take her place in Merrick's bed. When she arrives at the castle, she is expecting a monster. After all, Merrick is horribly scarred and must be a brute to have put her sister in such a position. But she finds that she barely notices his scars. In fact, she is even drawn to him, and he, to her.
Merrick doesn't force Sidonie into his bed. Instead, he makes a deal with her. She'll give him one week to seduce her. It will be her choice whether they make love. And from there begins a seduction that is only partly of the flesh. Because while Sidonie does fall captive to his body, she also ends up connecting to the broken, lonely man within.
The development of the story was a bit predictable, but I absolutely 100% did not care. I loved watching their journey. Merrick is so damaged both physically and emotionally. He has been branded a bastard, which has ostracized him, and Roberta's horrible husband --his cousin-- has the title that should have been his. The peerage rejects him, but he holds himself away as well, refusing to let them hurt him. Yet he falls so hard for Sidonie and her innocence, her goodness. He begins to feel his broken heart growing whole again --and I just wanted to climb inside the book and give him a hug.
I liked Sidonie. She is practical and loyal. And she has to make some tough choices, with one that you know is going to come back and bite her when it comes out. When it all comes crashing down, it's hard to bear, but it's riveting. I couldn't put it down.
Anna Campbell gave me two main characters I truly cared about and a villain easy to hate. The plot was interesting. And the sex was just right. It was hot and plentiful, but it never overshadowed the story. I just... loved it.
*ARC Provided by Forever via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bedby Anna CampbellRelease Date: September 25, 2012Publisher: Forever (GCP)