Dear Stranger

Suzanna Medeiros
Dear Stranger
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Suzanna Medeiros
Release Date
October 2014
Historical Romance

A case of mistaken identity…
During a masked ball, Sophie Crandle's mask gives her the courage she needs to follow the man she expects will propose to her into the gardens, where she brazenly asks him for the one thing that will tell her if she can accept him—a kiss. And what a kiss it is! Her elation turns to horror, however, when she realizes she is kissing the wrong man. The man who has awakened her desire is not the man who is courting her, but his brother, the Earl of Dearbourne. A notorious rake, he is more likely to ruin Sophie than provide her with the social acceptance she needs.

A woman he should not pursue…
Richard Hearst, the Earl of Dearbourne, receives the shock of his life when he discovers the beautiful woman falling apart in his arms thinks she is kissing someone else. He is determined to claim her for himself…even if the man she is meant for is his brother.

Dear Stranger was originally published in 2012 by Totally Bound Publishing.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Dec 01, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
181 people found the following review helpful
Suzanna Medeiros' debut short story sizzles from the very start and sweeps the reader up into a fascinating love triangle. Though I was left wanting more plot and more time with her fascinating characters, I enjoyed the story very much and am eager to see what else she has in store.

Sophie Crandall was blessed with beauty, brains and a very considerable inheritance following her parents' death. Though they caused a scandal by eloping, their money has left Sophie one of the most eligible women of the Ton, but she wants more. During a masquerade ball, she decides to find and kiss Henry Hearst, the man to whom she is all but engaged, in order to ensure there is more than friendship between them.

She gets her kiss—and so much more—but is shocked to find that the man she thought was Henry is in fact his brother, Richard, the Earl of Dearbourne, a man of notorious reputation. Torn between the safety of a marriage to Henry and the passion she found in Dearbourne's arms, Sophie is shocked to find that Richard has no intentions of letting their first kiss be their last. But Sophie's aunt is determined to see her married to a respectable man, regardless of where her heart might lay, and Richard will never be merely respectable. But could Henry be hiding a secret from Sophie as well?

Probably because of her parents' scandalous elopement—and more importantly, their enduring love for each other—Sophie is a girl who isn't afraid of following her heart or trusting her own instincts when it comes to love. This daring made her a terrific match for Richard, who seems to have made a habit of flaunting the rules of proper society.

I wish we had learned a bit more about how Richard earned his reputation as a ‘rake', but the fact remains that he won my heart within the first few pages of the story. His earnest pursuit of Sophie is endearing and just a little indecent in its own right, but I also loved how he came to terms with falling in love.

The tension between Sophie and Richard flares from the moment their secret tryst begins and doesn't let up. In spite of the brevity of this story, I never doubted for a moment that their love would last and that the passion between them was genuine and insatiable. In the end, though, I wanted more. With such terrific characters who each have a detailed history (Richard and Henry, particularly), I wanted a chance to get to know them better and to explore the tensions between them in more detail. Similarly, the ending seemed a little too rushed, but I also think this might have to do with how invested I was in Richard, Henry and Sophie, and would have jumped at the chance to stay with them for a little longer.

Nevertheless, Suzanna Medeiros has a terrific talent for crafting characters who are instantly loveable and steamy scenes that linger long after the final page has turned. I was wrapped up completely in this story and left wishing for more—so I'll be eagerly awaiting news of her upcoming projects!
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