Persuading Prudence

Liz Cole
Persuading Prudence
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Breathless Press
Release Date
May 2011
Erotic Romance, Historical Romance

After their night of mistaken identity and passion, can Lord Ravensbrook convince frumpy spinster, Prudence Mayville that marriage is the best and most honorable option?

A night of passion and mistaken identity has consequences . . .

Frumpy Lady Prudence Mayville has harbored a tenure for the devilishly dashing Lord Ravensbrook since her days in the schoolroom. So when the sotted earl mistakes her room for his and her for his mistress, Prudence finds it impossible to resist a chance to experience his passionate lovemaking.

When Kolton, Lord Ravensbrook awakens naked in the wrong room and realizes what had occurred, he does the honorable thing and asks for Prudence's hand in marriage. Kolton is stunned when she turns him down flat. Why on earth would a compromised spinster refuse the most eligible bachelor of the season? Humbled, Kolton tries to overcome her objections, but will he be successful in persuading Prudence?

Book Review by CarolAnn
Aug 13, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
235 people found the following review helpful
With a lovely mix of a good story, likeable hero and heroine and spicy passion, PERSUADING PRUDENCE by Liz Cole was a really pleasant surprise!

Following her parents' death, Lady Prudence (Pru) Mayville has lived with her cousin Victoria, the second Countess Ravensbrook, in the Stanville household since she was six years old. At the age of twenty-six, she's happy to be a confirmed spinster and all efforts by Victoria and her step-daughter, Amanda, to dissuade Pru from wearing drab clothes and choosing such a severe hair style fall on deaf ears.

However, Pru's life takes a dramatic turn when Victoria's stepson Kolton, Earl of Ravensbrook, accidentally stumbles into her bedroom drunk one night and proceeds to make love to her, mistaking Pru for his latest mistress. Pru knows she should stop him but is unable to resist the chance of experiencing the joys of lovemaking in the arms of the man she has fantasized about all these years.

The next morning, Kolton quickly discovers the truth about the identity of the woman he slept with. Conscious of Pru's reputation and the fact that she might already be carrying his child, he asks her to marry him but is not prepared for her adamant refusal of his proposal:

Kolton fell back in his seat incredulous. Not marry him? He was an earl! And one, he might add, with a high social standing, an impressive fortune, and powerful friends! Was she daft? He'd been fighting off title-seeking, money-hungry women, and marriage-minded mammas for years—and she says no when he finally breaks down and proposes?

She's even come up with some plan so he can avoid marrying her!

Not a man to give up lightly, he resorts to kidnapping Pru and taking her to an isolated cottage, leaving her in no doubt as to how he means to obtain her agreement to his marriage proposal:

"I intend to do it the old fashioned way, by swiving you until you are enceinte. The way I see it, taking the ‘if' out of the equation is usually persuasive in matters such as these."

But Kolton is about to get the surprise of his life when he discovers that, under that dowdy exterior, is a beautiful, vivacious, witty and passionate woman. She is everything he could ever want in a woman but persuading Pru will not be easy. However, Kolton is not a man to give up easily but a family secret, jealousy and blackmail threaten to keep him from his heart's desire.

I really enjoyed this book and liked Ms Cole's different take on the beautiful woman hiding beneath the dowdy spinster disguise. Usually it's because the heroine has some terrible past secret to hide but Pru's desire to conceal her light under a bushel is for a far different reason. When that reason is revealed, I feel Pru's anxieties about her body and her reluctance to marry are both very understandable. I can fully appreciate why she finds it difficult to accept that Kolton sees her as a beautiful and desirable woman:

Kolton frowned. "I do not give false compliments, nor do I need to do so. Look at yourself, Pru." He turned her to face the full-length mirror standing in the corner, and gently guided her to stand in front of it. "You're beautiful."

Prudence snorted indelicately. "My hair is too dark, my breasts and hips are too large, and I am short. What is ‘breathtaking' about that might I inquire?"

She has real fears that if Kolton marries her simply out of a sense of duty, he would grow to resent her and eventually find solace with another woman, bringing her only heartbreak.

Pru has poise, intelligence and a sarcastic wit, all qualities which Kolton finds attractive. I like the way she's not afraid to stand up to Kolton for instance when he first proposes they marry:

"Pru, I cannot find the words to express how deeply I regret my behavior. Being inebriated is no excuse for what I did to you. But I will make it right. We will marry right away and—"


"Pardon? Did you just say ‘no'?"

"That is exactly what I said," she stated calmly. "I am not pregnant, and I will not marry you."

Kolton is the perfect hero, sexy, honest, trustworthy, tender and romantic. I admire the fact that he wants his marriage to be successful and has every intention of honouring his marriage vows and, as proof of this, he breaks completely with his current mistress. His view that children need both parents to provide them with a sense of stability and self-assurance certainly would have gone against the traditional thinking of the time. When he formally asks Pru to marry him and gives her an exquisite pearl engagement ring, it is obvious he has taken a lot of trouble to make it a truly romantic moment for her.

The scene where Kolton and his brother, Victor, see an elegantly dressed Pru for the first time is particularly memorable:

Kolton shut his jaw with a click and shook himself out of his lustful daze. He tore his eyes away from the vision in the doorway and glanced at his younger brother. Victor was staring unblinkingly at Prudence, as if she had cast a spell over him as well, his mouth still hanging open. Kolton frowned and nudged him none too gently in the side.

I can just imagine the two men standing there with their mouths open, positively drooling!!

Ms Cole's love scenes are certainly red-hot, but what I especially like is the exchanges between Pru and Kolton which certainly succeed in heightening the sexual tension between them. For example, in the cottage scene, while Pru is railing at him - Pru raised her head, her ocean blue eyes shooting sparks of indignation. "Why, you pompous, bloody ass—" Kolton is noticing all sorts of delectable things about her - Why had he not noticed how nicely shaped and full her breasts were until now?

The plot moves at a good pace with a few twists to delay their happy ending. The identity of the blackmailer isn't hard to guess but it certainly didn't spoil the story for me.

If you enjoy a well-written story with an engaging hero and heroine and plenty of sizzling love scenes, I'm sure PERSUADING PRUDENCE will be exactly what you're looking for!
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