Publisher: Avon Books
Date Published: July, 2011
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher.
Christel Douglas has always been in love with the infamous Barracuda, Camden St. Giles, seventh earl of Carrick, but she knows she can never be his. As the bastard child of an adulterer, she just doesn’t fit in with his social rank. The night she intends to share her feelings, she disguises herself and attends an off-limits ball. Intrigued when Camden spots her hiding in the garden, he kisses her, unaware she is the cousin of the woman he is already intent on marrying.
Nine years later, now widowed with a young daughter, Camden learns that Christel has stolen aboard his ship, bound for Scotland. A letter from her deceased cousin, Saundra, Camden’s first wife, requesting she move home to care for her daughter as governess, along with a mysterious gold coin, brings Christel onboard. No longer an innocent, Christel, now a widow herself, with only a stray for company, intends moving into her family home in Scotland, Seastone Cottage.
Despite the rekindling of the flame set ablaze between Camden and Christel years before, Christel still knows her place, although she is more mature and more-than-capable of taking care of herself. Although she finds herself unable to resist Camden’s kisses, even now.
But the mystery surrounding her cousin’s premature death and the reasons behind it are unsettling, and Christel is bound to learn what really happened. Despite Camden’s secrets from his past, which threaten to destroy their growing love for one another, Christel is determined to support him at all costs, even when Seastone Cottage is destroyed and the truth of Saundra’s past comes to light.
As the walls between them come down, Christel and Camden soon realize that nothing will ever stand between them...and that they and Saundra’s young daughter belong together...as family.
THIS PERFECT KISS by Melody Thomas is a beautifully written historical romance. A bit slow-paced, it is still a charming story. The first chapter is as perfect as the kiss between Christel and Camden, drawing the reader into the story quite skillfully. It has an almost Cinderella-like quality about it and even includes the loss of a shiny slipper.
Chapter two takes place nine years after that first perfect kiss and in it, the reader is introduced to a hero and heroine who are more mature and different, in so many ways. But one thing remains the same, the strong feelings blazing between them, even if they refuse to acknowledge them. It is here the reader is kept turning pages as questions are brought forth that are both suspenseful and intriguing.
Ms. Thomas adeptly and skillfully plots and weaves conflict into this story that keeps the reader continually guessing as to its outcome. The mystery surrounding the death of Christel’s cousin, Saundra, is the center of THIS PERFECT KISS, as is the growing affection between Lord Camden and Christel. It is interspersed well throughout this tale.
The dialogue between Christel and Camden sometimes made me laugh out loud at their verbal sparring. Ms. Thomas kept just enough of it in the story to keep the reader alert and wanting more in their relationship.
I loved the teasing hints Ms. Thomas kept adding to THIS PERFECT KISS regarding Christel’s interesting past while living in the Colonies of America. That she was once married to the notorious Sons of Liberty leader, Merlin, who was later murdered, that she has become extremely skillful at swordplay, was once perhaps an infamous highwayman and a dress shop designer/manager lends a flash of excitement about this young woman who, at 26, is adamant about remaining happily on the shelf for the remainder of her life. It would be interesting if Ms. Thomas decided to do a prequel to this story, about Christel’s life in America. I would enjoy reading that.
I also liked the interjection of Dog and Camden’s young daughter, Anna, into this story. It made things interesting and enjoyable, especially toward the end, when the bad guy is brought into account for his crimes.
If one enjoys historical romance, then I highly recommend THIS PERFECT KISS by Melody Thomas. The beauty of Ms. Thomas’s writing added greatly to this story of Scotland, which has also been a source of fascination for me. She has a knack for description that brings THIS PERFECT KISS to life. It is well worth a read.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.