Author: Robyn DeHart
Published: Dec 4, 2012 by Entangled
Format: E-book | ISBN13 9781622668168
Reviewed by: Isalys
Reason for Reading: Copy provided by author for review purposes
Marcus Kincaid has returned to England after a ten-year absence. His older brother died during that time, making Marcus the Earl of Ashford. Not only that, his younger sister is embroiled in a potential scandal that could ruin her chance at marriage. His aunt has already called in reinforcements—The Paragon.Marcus Kincaid is an adventurer! He has spent the better part of the last 10 years giving tours of exotic, faraway lands to the restless members of the ton. As he prepares to submit his plans for his next latest and greatest tour, he returns home for a time. Upon his return, he discovers that his elder brother and heir to the Earldom has been deceased leaving Marcus the new Earl of Ashford. In addition to his new responsibilities, he finds out that his sister is embroiled in a potential scandal. At a complete loss on how to handle this, he hires The Paragon to help "nip this in the bud".
Vivian March is known simply as The Paragon. She moves through every circle within Society, smoothing out scandals and stopping gossip in its tracks. Everyone in London knows that if she aligns herself with you, Society will forgive you your sins. What they don’t know is that she uses their secrets to cover her own jaded past.
But with every kiss and every touch that Marcus thrusts upon her, Vivian comes to believe life is infinitely more fun when you can be just a little bit wicked…
Vivian March, aka The Paragon is a master of nipping scandals in the bud. She is the keeper of all the ton's dirty little secrets and as a spinster she's made helping others keep their secrets her life's work. What the ton doesn't know is that she uses their secrets as a way to keep her own. When Vivian was 24 years old, she fell in love and gave her would-be husband her heart and her body. What she never expected was for him to run out on her and leave her ruined.
During one of Vivian's secret rendezvous with Frederick (the "ex") she mistook him for Marcus and shared a passionate kiss that neither Vivian nor Marcus ever forgot. Now many years later they find themselves working together to save Marcus' sister's reputation before it's too late.
Marcus never fought his attraction to Vivian but Vivian fought it every step of the way. Not only was she reluctant, even scared to give her heart away but she can't get over the fact that she's several years older than Marcus (she considers herself firmly on the shelf). I particularly enjoyed Marcus' character because he made no qualms about his attraction and desire for Vivian. It was refreshing to read about a man who so openly pursued the woman he wanted, never once denying what he felt for her. Vivian needed convincing though and while I did find her insecurities somewhat endearing, she really was stuck on the "age" thing. That became the excuse, the wall that Marcus needed to break down to win her!
There were no big surprises here and the villain you expect was the villain you got. In terms of villainy, he was a little disappointing because he resorted to blackmail and Marcus put him in his place easily enough (well, once he found out about it). I did admire Vivian's backbone, though. She decided when enough was enough and took certain matters into her own hands, even if it meant tearing down the illusion of perfection that she had built for herself. For me, the highlight of this story was the relationship between them and Marcus in particular!
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