Heart's Desire

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 May 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was a sweet historical romance. Clarissa is an intelligent woman determined to mark her own path and never surrender her freedom. She's known Markham for a while and envied his carefree lifestyle. He feels an attraction to her and in an attempt to protect her from scandal he publicly announces their engagement. Clarissa goes along with it and has no intention of making it real but love always wins. 
Lovely novel with a sweet couple that made the story come to life. It was just missing a bit more sexual heat and intrigue to be perfect.
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An interesting and slightly different type of historical romance, Wendy LaCapra's Heart's Desire should prove interesting to readers who enjoy unique characters. Though I have not read this author before, I am looking forward to more from her in future.
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This is the first book of Ms. LaCapra I’ve read and I will look forward to reading more. It started a bit slow since this is a new writing style but after the first couple of chapters I was hooked. The reason it was slow was I was hesitant when Markham followed one of his widowed lovers and usually when that happens I didn’t want to read him with some other women right off the bat, but that was not the case so that was great. Now I also expected drama with the lover and Clarissa as the story progressed, again there was none but positive parts. Clarissa starts as innocent virgin became more of a  dominant lady with Markham and setting the scenes. Markham stated out as a innocent gentleman seeing women as a gift but never understood how he had become a ‘rake’ until he had a conversation with a former lover and do her to talk about his gifts and how all the women talk about him and his gifts a lot, that’s the start of Markham changing his ways but when an arrogant Lord makes a bet about Clarissa and putting her in her place at the feet of the jerk or his friends is a new change in Markham’s plan change.....
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Markham is an instant delight—soft and emotional and sweet. Clarissa is more callous in her inability to empathize at times, and while she’s not my favorite heroine, she and Markham create an absolutely delicious dynamic between them. When dealing with a historical romance heroine who’s an “innocent” there’s a delicate balance to be struck to make sure the heroine doesn’t come across as willfully ignorant, stupid, or childlike. LaCapra achieves this by sometimes flipping the script, having Clarissa gain confidence while Markham becomes overwhelmed. This makes for an engaging and enticing relationship dynamic. 

I found I wasn’t particularly engaged in the plot or the side characters, but kept pushing forward for more of this dynamic. 

An eARC was provided on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm quite surprised by this new installment of Lords of Chance series by Wendy LaCapra. No, it wasn't Wendy's beautiful storytelling that always hooks me right into the story. I already knew of it. It's because on one hand, Markham wasn't the hero I was expecting to see getting his book so early. On the other, I didn't think he had quite the depth of character he'd shown throughout Heart's Desire. 

TBH, I never felt like I knew Markham beyond how he was called 'the pup' by the other 3 heroes of the series, Bromton, Rayne and Farring. He was the youngest one, the happy-go-lucky rake who never really roused my interest even though I knew he'd get his story at some point in the series. Then he went and gambled on his sister Katherine in book 1 and I was like... uh, okay. But boy oh boy, Markham surprised me while I was reading Heart's Desire. I knew that despite his immaturity, he harbored no ill will for anyone and that he loved his sisters dearly. His rakish persona simply fell away the moment he figured out all he ever wanted was to find the love of his life... which turned out to be Lady Clarrisa, Bromton's ex-fiancee and Rayne's sister.

Lady Clarissa, likewise, came off as a distant character who had yet to flesh out in book 1. Here, I could totally identify with her issues; with the male dominated society and how she hated to be the submissive one, being totally under control. Never having her own identity in return. She was raised to become Bromton's countess all her life. All that training and yet, that didn't even turn into a reality when he went and fell for Katherine.

I loved knowing more about her and Markham and their odd chemistry that turned too deep too soon when they finally begin communicating in real sense. The first scene between them, where Clarissa and Markham both discover the hidden nuances of their passion, was utterly delightful! It was breathtaking without being too in-your-face. But was I surprised to find Markham having a hidden submissive streak that's being talked about? Oh, for sure I was somewhat surprised to find a scene like that existed in this otherwise straightforward historical romance. But for some reason, I wasn't surprised that Markham let Clarissa take control. I figured early on in the story that he'd do anything for the people he loved and cared for, which is very much admiring on it's own. He'd indulge in their whimsy and delight in it too. That he'd simply let Clarissa love him the way it suited her wasn't surprising. I also wasn't surprised to find he reveled in it himself.

Even though I had a bit of time to connect with the story in the beginning, I loved how it ended. I was happy for them both because they deserved to be that happiness. 4 stars.

Note that a slightly longer review will be posted in goodreads, booklikes and on my blog soon.
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Percival Stanley, the fifth Earl of Markham, is attending a ball given by Lady Darlington, eldest daughter of the Duke of Shepthorpe.

When Markham’s father died 5 years ago, there was little money left in the estate, but he has worked hard to refill the coffers.  His sister, Katherine, is married to the Marquess of Bromton, and his other sister is deemed to be a diamond of the first water.  Now, it is his turn to find a wife.

At age 7, Lady Clarissa’s father betrothed her to the future Marquess of Bromton.  From then until age 20, she was taught everything she would need to know about being the Marchioness of Bromton.  Then, the Marquess reneged on the promise and wed another.  Clarissa wasn’t necessarily hurt, but just disillusioned.  Now, she wants to remain single and enjoy her freedom.

When an arrogant man tries to ruin Clarissa’s name simply because she would not smile at him, Markham steps in and declares that that he and Clarissa are betrothed.  Now, Markham and Clarissa see one another often as they pursue their fake courtship.  But, will it remain fake?

This is not an easy book to read because the reader is immediately thrown into a large group of characters, many with nicknames, making one feel like you walked into the middle of a movie.  This a huge pet peeve of mine.  I did not read the first book of this series so perhaps that is an absolutely must for readers.  I lost interest in the book as the confusion built.  I believe this is the first book I have read by this author and I hope to try to read another in the future that will be easier to follow.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Historical romance readers are going to lap up Wendy LaCapra’s enjoyable and enthralling tale of forbidden attraction and illicit passion, Heart’s Desire.

Lady Clarissa has had enough. She is sick and tired of letting men control every aspect of her life and wants to live life on her own terms and become the mistress of her own destiny. Clarissa’s life has been managed and manipulated by men from the cradle and she will not have it anymore. After the man she had been betrothed to since girlhood had rejected her, Clarissa vows to make her own choices and decisions from now on. Matrimony is certainly not something she is willing to consider or even dare contemplate – after all the Ton seems to be full of fortune hunters, lily-liveried cowards and irascible rakes like her friend’s brother, the charming and oh so irresistible, Lord Markham, also known as Hearts.

Markham is the sort of man who can have any woman he wants – and he often does. Women have always fallen at Markham’s feet and he certainly has no problem attracting the fairer sex. The only woman who seems to be immune to his charms is Lady Clarissa herself. While women flock to Markham, Clarissa treats him with disdain and derision. But despite her lack of affection for him, Markham cannot help but be drawn to Clarissa. She is not like the shameless widows or bored wives of the Ton who usually vie for his affections; she’s intelligent, spirited and confident and recently he seems to be unable to stop himself from thinking about her.

When he hears of a shocking wager that could lead to Clarissa’s ruin at his club, Markham is appalled. He is adamant that not a hair on Clarissa’s head is harmed, so he does the unthinkable and saves her by announcing that he is in fact her intended husband. The Ton is absolutely stunned, but that is nothing when compared to the shock which Clarissa feels. She is absolutely appalled that Markham could interfere like this! He had absolutely no right to condemn her to a marriage of convenience with a man she absolutely detest – but whom she cannot stop herself from succumbing to!

In order to ensure that nobody can see through this charade, Markham and Clarissa agree to a fake courtship. But the more time they spend together, the more they realize that there is nothing fake about their feelings for one another? Are they ready to take a chance on real love? Or will they let their fears get in the way of this chance at a happy ever after?

A historical romance delight that is warm-hearted, witty and wonderfully written, Heart’s Desire is a brilliantly told tale that I simply could not put down. Wendy LaCapra expertly and deftly blends humor, passion and drama in an irresistible historical romance that will touch your heart and tickle your funny bone.

I loved Clarissa who was an independent heroine full of spirit and Markham was a sexy and charismatic hero who will make you swoon!

A fantastic historical romance sure to appeal to fans of the genre, Heart’s Desire is a terrific read I highly recommend from Wendy LaCapra’s immensely talented pen.
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Good story. Nice to see a dominant woman in this genre. Story develops well with interesting characters who must have their own stories. Really enjoyable.
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Lady Clarissa is done with being beholden to men.  First, her betrothed canceled their contract to marry,  then her brother took off and left her all alone.  Clarissa has always been quiet and biddable, doing what society expects of her, but why?  What has it gotten her?  Although Clarissa is intrigued by Lord Markham, Hearts, she does not want marriage.  Clarissa is determined to forget him and live life on her own terms. .

When Hearts overhears a bet that involves Clarissa going into the books at his club, he does the unthinkable.  He claims that they are courting to protect her good name.  Hearts knows Clarissa isn't going to like it, but he will make her see it's the right thing.  It isn't long before his feelings for Clarissa change.  Can Hearts let her go when the time comes because he's certain she'll take his true heart with her?

Although I found the idea of four friends being named after card suits cute, I felt the usage of them throughout HEART'S DESIRE was a little much.  I felt that Clarissa should at least call Markham "Hearts" less and more "Percy" or "Percival" which is his first name, especially when they become on a more intimate level.  It was definitely a different read for me.  There aren't many romances where the male is more submissive to the female in the story.  I don't mind that angle, but I would have liked to have seen at least one scene where Hearts took charge.  However, all in all, I give HEART"S DESIRE a 3.5 star rating.  I look forward to picking up the first book in author Wendy LaCapra's LORDS OF CHANCE series, SCANDAL AND SPADES, and I cannot wait to read the next addition as well.
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This was a very good read, quite emotional at times. I did like the character of Markham, he was essentially a very caring person. He did have a set of rules he tried to abide by. There were times in this story that I wondered if I liked Clarissa. I could see where she was coming from, in that she wanted to be in control of her own life, but she was selfish in that she was mainly concerned with her own needs. Markham was a strong enough character that he was able to give Clarissa the control she needed. However, this doesn’t seem enough for Clarissa. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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OH MY GOOD BOOK!!!!  This is the first book I have read by Wendy LaCapra and let me just put it out there in the bookiverse that after this one book I am a fan!!!  This is also the first Historical Romance book I have read where our leading lady is a total alpha in the bedroom.  It was so exciting!!!!  I love that this author was not afraid to allow her heroine to be sexually demanding, that is something you almost NEVER see in the H.R. genre.  I will be buying this book and adding it to my book shelf so I can read it over and over again.

        Percival Stanley, the fifth Earl of Markham also known by the ton as “Hearts” finds himself breaking all of his self-imposed rules in an attempt to save the reputation and honor of a woman.  Too bad it’s the only woman in the ton who clearly dislikes him and would rather risk ruination than go along with his scheme.  Or is she? 

       Just when Lady Clarissa Laithe thinks she has won her freedom by offending a notorious bully and gossip thusly choosing to become a spinster, the one man she finds “intolerable” takes it all awake in a misguided attempt to rescue her from humiliation and scandal.   It’s only after conceding to go along with his scheme that she see maybe he isn’t as intolerable as she thought.  


I enjoyed this book so much and cant wait to hear what all of you think about it.
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Heart's Desire is the second book in the Lords of Chance serie and my first book by Wendy LaCapra. I really loved this book. The characters had so much dept en felt so real. I loved the writing style. I loved Markham, he was an amazing character. I loved him and Clarissa together.
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I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book.

Markham is an interesting character. When he learns how he is seen by some women, an unflattering fact about himself, he decides he wants to change. He comes up with some rules of conduct and does his best to follow them. Markham is kind and when he hears of a wager that would ruin Clarissa he jumps in to save her reputation by claiming she is his intended bride. Clarissa doesn’t want to marry and is unhappy to learn Markham stepped in to save her. 

Markham was relatable and his love for his family is evident in all he does. He’s an all around good person who faces his fears and is willing to take a chance. Clarissa seemed very fixed in how she viewed the world and held on to these views very tightly. She focused on herself, what she needed and wanted, without considering how Markham was affected. Clarissa has some realizations and she makes decisions about what she needs before she can be with Markham. She doesn’t consult with Markham beforehand which to me indicated she didn’t trust him completely and she was still approaching things from a self-centric viewpoint. 

I thought the book was well-written. I loved how Markham recognized his failings and made changes to remedy them.
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i  actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.
Yes, it was predictable but in the very best way. The villain was clear from the outset and, although there was mention of previous heroines, it didn't matter that I hadn't read the previous books in the series. 
I did call the majority of the "big reveals" before they happened but it didn't take away my enjoyment and I still couldn't put it down.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a copy of this book via Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review.
I was very thrilled to get the second book in the series to read and review.  This is Lady Clarrisa and Lord Markham book and what a wonderful read it was. Bets made by nasty self entitled upstarts and a Lord that wishes to protect a women who he has long admired. I signed a lot reading this book and they were sighs of yes what a great story. The women in this story all know that they have to get together to make a lot of mistakes made by the men in their lives right and the men in the story try their best to do the right thing to protect the women in their lives. Sometimes it all works out right as with this story. Look forward to the next story I do hope it will be Julia's and Clarissa"s rake of a brother.
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This is the second book in the Lords of Chance series.  I loved the first book and was so excited when I discovered the second book was for Lord Markham.  Both characters were in the first book, Scandal in Spades, but this book gives you a real view of them and their personalities.  I loved reading the interactions between Lord Markham and his sisters.  He seemed more personable and it was hard not to fall in love with him.  I was a little disappointed in Clarissa, her stubbornness and worried they would not find their HEA.  The couple had help from an unlikely source and the ending has the reader wondering about the next book.  The story was well written and had a great story line.  It was a great book and I can’t wait to learn who will be in the next book and too read it!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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After reading the first book in this series, it was wonderful to see Percival (yes I love that name!) Stanley, Earl of Markham, because he had seemed such a rake and had even gamble his sister away!  But an encounter in the first few pages made him think, "I hadn't realized...I mean, I never intended to cultivate the reputation of a rake." Like his father, he had a weakness for women but he was not incapable of forming an attachment! When these thoughts come to a realization, he decides he does not want to be seen that way and it really changes his life.  
Lady Clarissa, the sister of his once best friend, has just ended a ten year bethrothal to a man that ended up marrying Markham's sister.  She is determined to stay clear of men and live as she wants. Unfortunately, she unwittingly test that determination on a man who sees her as a challenge and a wager begins that could ruin her.
When Markham hears about the wager, he claims they have been secretly courting and will announce their betrothal soon.  As fate steps in, it seems he may want to make the lie a truth as his attraction grow!
Just when I think I have read my favorite book by this author, she writes another that takes it's place!  Her writing is so wonderfully eloquent and descriptive that I fall in love with the characters and my emotions become so engaged!  I highlighted so many lines and paragraphs in my kindle, it seems I should have just highlighted the entire story!  Prepare to be captured by a swoon-worthy hero and a stubborn heroine that will keep your attention until the last page!
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Lady Clarissa has only one wish and that is to have freedom and do as she wishes. She vows never to marry, especially not her friend's brother, Lord Markham!!!! She believes he's a rake and every time they meet, she has only unkind words and glowering stares for him. 

Lord Markham has always thought Clarissa lovely but knows that she doesn't like him at all. If only she knew what a kind, gentle and thoughtful man he really was!! When he overhears a wager that will hurt Clarissa, he steps in and announces that he and Clarissa are actually betrothed! 

When Clarissa finds out, she's at first livid but then agrees to go along with his plan and before long, she's fallen head over heels in love with him! I so enjoyed both characters and although Clarissa is very innocent and Markham is a rake, she's the one that ends up seducing him:) 

I was given a free copy of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
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I loved Clarissa and Markham's story. I enjoyed the way this story is written and Markham has redeemed himself beautifully. His character is one of my favorites in this series. He loves his sisters, knows when he is wrong and willing to change his ways, and he is caring as well as a passionate person. I also liked Clarissa, she is independent, stubborn and a strong woman who wants more in life than what is offered to her. Her brother left without a second thought to her but she has some amazing friends and life isn't all bad. The only problem is that she is set against marriage and now, unfortunately, she finds herself being courted by Markham. This courtship will end soon enough but will the two of them survive with their hearts intact is another question entirely.
I think it's a really good historical fiction and will recommend it to all historical romance fans.
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Wendy LaCapra is a new author for me and I will definitely be reading more of her books. Heart's Desire is an historical romance with well developed characters, lively plot and delightful descriptions of places and times.  I can definitely recommend this author and book.
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