In the Barrister's Bed

Tina Gabrielle
In the Barrister's Bed
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Publisher
Kensington
Release Date
July 2012
ISBN
9781420122756
Genre
Historical Romance

SUMMARY
A Hotly Contested Claim

A bastard by birth, James Devlin lives on his own terms—until a twist of fate reveals that he is the true Duke of Blackwood. Though the brooding bachelor swears to hold on to his freedom, he does intend to take back his childhood home. But once at Wyndmoor Manor, he discovers an arresting adversary in Bella Sinclair. Her hot-blooded claim to his home is amusing...and arousing. Which is why he isn't leaving until he takes possession of everything—starting with the bewitching Bella...

A Sensual Surrender

Bella is furious when the Duke barges into her home, declaring it rightfully his! The willful widow is not about to give up her haven without a fight, no matter how determined the Duke is—or how sensual the battlefield. But once she's sharing a house with the beguiling barrister, she is in danger of losing everything—one deep, slow kiss at a time...

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Aug 19, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
193 people found the following review helpful
IN THE BARRISTER'S BED is a great addition to the Regency Barrister series, where romance and intrigue mix for an explosive story.

James Devlin, a barrister and illegitimate son of a duke, suddenly found out that he was the legitimate heir when his father died. His only fond memories of his father involves a piece of real estate called Wyndmoor Manor, which had been sold. So, he went to buy back the estate, but when he arrived, it was to find that it had been sold to a lovely woman named Bella Sinclair three days before. This was where his legal training came into play.

Yet, for all his desire to possess the manor, he was also attracted to Bella and couldn't quite contain his desire for her. What would he choose?

As for Bella, she'd just been set free from the bonds of a controlling man, and she wasn't going to be intimidated and controlled once again. She brought the property fair and square and she meant to stay there. Will her resolve weaken after she tasted James's passion and desire?

Bella was a great heroine--sympathetic and courageous. Though she suffered at her husband's hand, she didn't let it get her down. Instead, she sought for her freedom and fought hard for it.

James is the usual Regency hero--a womanizer. He loved women, and it is no wonder that he would be attracted to Bella. Though he was at first cold and heartless in that he was determined to wrest the manor away from Bella, he did offer to return the amount she paid for the manor, but it was Bella who refused and clung persistently to the manor. So, he was quite a decent guy, who met his match in Bella's fiery spirit and elegant beauty.

And when they clash, steam rose from their interactions. Their passion was hot and sizzling, and Bella's past forced them even closer. The story was well written and the plot well-paced, and the mystery and suspense urged me onward to flip the pages.

Fans who love the first book, In the Barrister's Chambers, shouldn't miss this!
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Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Sep 06, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
181 people found the following review helpful
Tina Gabrielle's second installment of the Regency Barrister series provides some unexpected and refreshingly different plot twists as two lonely souls find themselves thrown together under the most unexpected of circumstances. Though I found both the characters' depth and development lacking in this book, it was still an engaging read, if not quite on the same level as the series' debut.

The child of a Duke and a chambermaid, James Devlin was raised believing himself to be a bastard. While his father's family was willing to fund his education, they regarded him as little more than an unwanted obligation. His only happiness came during his weeklong holiday with his father at the Duke's country estate, Wyndmoor Manor, which was sold years later. From that lonely childhood, James has established himself as a successful barrister in London, and, though his affairs are numerous, as a confirmed bachelor. But James' well-ordered life comes to an abrupt halt when it is revealed that his parents were indeed married in secret before his birth—making James the rightful heir to both his father's fortune and his title. And his first act as the new Duke of Blackwood is to purchase Wyndmoor Manor back.

Imagine his surprise to realize that Wyndmoor Manor has already been purchased! Bella Sinclair has recently been widowed, but regards her husband's death as much more of a blessing than a loss. She has spent the past seven years trapped in a brutal, loveless marriage, and is desperate to find a home where she can write in peace. Though she purchased Wyndmoor as soon as she saw it, the place feels like home—until an imposing stranger appears, bearing an identical deed to her own. Bella has sworn never to put herself at the mercy of another man again. Now she finds herself sharing a house with a man who alternatively infuriates her and awakens desires she thought long dead. But he only wants to charm her away from her deed—doesn't he? When a sinister figure from Bella's past re-appears and threatens her freedom, she will have no choice but to test the depth of James' devotion to Wyndmoor—and to her.

Both Bella and James are lonely outsiders, and that sympathy helps build the connection between them. Bella, for all her determination to live alone, finds a sort of comfort in James' presence, and a reaffirmation of her own powers in his affections. For his turn, James may attempt to flaunt his title and newly acquired position, but in his heart, he needs to be regarded not for his parentage or status, but for his character. His friends, and most of all, his new-found Bella provide that respect, and also make him work to be the kind of man they expect him to be. As these two come to trust in the other and the reality of their feelings, they find the strength to fight for their love side by side. It was this acceptance and realization that made them such likeable characters for me. Once they stopped their games and doubting, I was thrilled to see them fight for their happy ending together.

I genuinely liked both Bella and James, and spent the book hoping for both of them to find the sense of belonging and happiness they both craved and deserved. However, I wished we had been allowed to see more of their characters and psyche than this book showed. Bella has spent seven years in an extremely abusive marriage, yet seems to bear very few scars. While her strength and resilience is remarkable, I found it very hard to believe that she would be ready and willing to accept both James' challenge and his attentions. Similarly, James has spent his life as an outcast, yet accepts his change of fortune and status without a great deal of thought or feeling that the reader is allowed to see. The vast majority of the forces keeping our hero and heroine apart are outside ones, but those issues at the core of their characters, those inner forces that have made them the outsiders they are, were never addressed to my satisfaction.

Nonetheless, this is an enjoyable read, with several unusual plot twists and unexpected events to keep reader's interest high. It was nice to see Evelyn and Jack Harding from the series' debut, and several of James' boon companions, whose fates have yet to be decided (more Barristers stories, please!). While I would have liked more depth in the characters and their development, I still found this an interesting addition to the series, and will be looking forward to more books soon.
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