Author: Susan Johnson Publisher: Brava (2006)
Book Summary: It was common gossip that "Duff" D'Abernon, Marquis of Darley, had returned from Waterloo a changed man. Gone was the reckless youth and in his place was a sullen recluse more interested in tending his horses than attending balls. But now the Marquis was entering the game again, openly flirting with the beautiful, witty, and thoroughly disreputable Annabelle Foster. Annabelle's no stranger to scandal. The actress-playwright is rumoured to have had liaisons with any number of powerful men, with an illegitimate daughter to show for it. She won't chance heartache again, even for a man as tempting as Duff D'Abernon. What she offers instead is a compromise: a true friendship between equals. Each agrees to the terms. A bargain is struck. And an idyllic summer begins. But what starts as friendship soon blossoms into searing passion. And the only thing worse than risking their hearts is not risking them at all...
I am new to reading Susan Johnson, having read just one contemporary romance, Hot Pink, by her. I had liked the really hot bedroom scenes in Hot Pink, she being one of the few who don’t give the written version of the Bollywood favorite shots of fans, and flowers to depict bedroom scenes, or the romance writer descriptions of rapture and paradise. I picked up When Someone Loves you on impulse, thinking that the romance between an actress and a viscount set in 1800 England was bound to be interesting.
The story, while good, is nothing new to historical romance readers or any romance reader for that matter. The characters though seem two dimensional and the writing and the confusing dialogue fail to bring the plot together. The historical bits seem to have been added in as an afterthought and don’t really seem as part of the story. The two protagonists are instantly attracted to each other and are open to “being” with each other. Both don’t want to marry and value their independence, not unlike any modern romance. Nothing much seems to happen in the first half, while the second half is filled with one situation after the other, all of which seem to get resolved rather quickly and neatly. The author's attempt to flesh out the story and create depth by adding conflicts just make the plot go every which way. I was not even convinced that both the hero and the heroine really are in love, rather than just lust! The book has the signature Susan Johnson hot bedroom scenes though. All in all it is an OK read, if you have nothing more interesting on your shelves. Definitely not a keeper.
This was the second book in the series; I will try and read the first one, Someone to Love, the story of Duff’s parents.
I rate it as 2/5 as it was largely forgettable. I read this as a part of my 100 e-books Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge, Historical Romance Challenge and 100+ Books in a Year Challenge.