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Heart's Desire

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Member Reviews

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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While I didn't find this novel to be as good as the first in the series, it wasn't without its charms. The steady pace keeps the reader invested, making this the perfect read for a rainy day, and the characters are in their own way interesting. 

One of the things that kept me from enjoying the story more was the tunnel vision that seemed to plague Clarissa. While it is easy to understand why a young woman would be weary of men, I hated the way she lumped them all into the same category. I also found it very hard to believe that she could be a virgin simply by the way she spoke to Percy. For someone who claimed to no next to nothing about the art of being with someone, she certainly had no qualms pushing his boundaries. 

There are some points in this story that reference the first novel, and while it is easy enough to understand what is going on without having read it, doing so will give this second book more depth. 

Overall, I believe this novel will appeal to those who like historical romances with strong characters - and I would read more from this author. In fact, I am super excited for the third installment in this series.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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This book was intriguing! Clarissa's strong will was fascinating to read about in a "regency" context. I wasn't expecting such domination from what otherwise would have been a sweet read. 

I'm not sure what about this has me keeping this at 3 stars instead of 5. For whatever reason Clarissa makes me uncomfortable in her stubbornness. While I appreciate the feminism, something just feels off about this story? Obviously, a super subjective outlook on my part.

I'm not sure that the character development works for me in this one. It seems as if Clarissa made large leaps and bounds, yet her actions didn't do very much to persuade me that these were true? How one goes from being against marriage, hating nearly all men (because she's lumping them all together) to realizing that Markham is *different* and loving him, in only a few pages. I would have liked to see her change her attitude and actions to match what we're told, instead of blinding believing her. 

I also feel like it's an odd match between her and Markham. He's clearly worked on himself, and Clarissa doesn't have that same self-awareness, which I think is what is infuriating me. She claims to know what she wants, and learns very quickly that sexual domination is a way to regulate power balances between Markham, a man, and herself. I think she needs to have a little more self-awareness before a version of BDSM is introduced as a way to deal with past hurts and trauma? 

*I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
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Heart's Desire by Wendy LaCapra is book Two in the Lords of Chance Series.  This is the story of Percival Stanley, Earl of Markham and Clarissa Laithe.  Markham played a part in the first book 'Scandal in Spades' but I still feel this book could be made into a standalone book if you wish to do so. 
Clarissa has been betrothed to the Marquess of Bromton for years, but now her betrothal is broken and her brother takes off.  Clarissa plans to do what she wants and when her brother the Earl of Rayne does come back she hopes to go with him on his adventures.  Markham has always been aware of Clarissa but her engagement has kept any thoughts to himself in addition to who her brother is has kept him at bay.  But when a reckless wager is done, he pretends that he is seeing Clarissa.  Clarissa ends up going along with this fake relationship but as with all things in a fake relationship it turns into real feelings.  Both did have personal issues that they needed to overcome so there is more to their story line. 
Really enjoyed their story.
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Maybe 3.5

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was delighted to learn that Percival Stanley, Earl of Markham aka "Hearts" was to be the hero in this book.  He was portrayed as a somewhat reckless, impulsive rake in the first book, so I was very surprised by the "real" Markham in this book!

Markham has always noticed Lady Clarissa Laithe, sister to Earl of Rayne, but she was off limits and already betrothed to the Marquess of Bromton, so he kept his interest to himself.  When his reckless wager in the previous book changes Clarissa's life, he is even more impressed by her and the way she handled being jilted.  But bad blood between Markham and Rayne make any connection with Clarissa impossible - until it isn't...

Lady Clarissa is tired of her life being directed by the whims of men and since her broken betrothal and her brother's abrupt exit from England, she has decided she will not bend anymore.  She has decided that she will not marry and when Rayne returns, she will ask him to take her with him on his next adventure.  But when she tests her newfound determination on Lord Moultonbury by refusing to smile at his request, she unknowingly triggers a wager that could ruin her.

Markham is at Sharpe's Club licking his wounds after a run in with a former lover pulled the scales from his eyes - he is going to change and make some hard fast rules for his life, starting now!  But that plan is blown out of the water when Moultonbury and his cronies place a wager in the clubs betting book about Lady Clarissa.  To save her reputation, Markham claims they are secretly courting and will announce their betrothal when Rayne returns.  But what starts as a lie, soon becomes his true desire, but can he convince the lady?

I thought this book was well written, but I had problems with both Clarissa and Markham, so often lately Historical Romances have been portraying heroines as strong, independent woman - which is wonderful and empowering - but in doing so many authors have been embedding their heroines with 21st century views and morals and the stories end up being contemporary romances set in England without electricity, cell phones, internet and cars.  Sadly that is what happened in this book - I didn't really care for Clarissa from the beginning, I thought she was selfish and self-centered and she never changed.  Markham started good and I was cheering when he told her off, but in the end, he too disappointed me.  The writing was good, the pace was decent (it did drag a bit towards the end), the love scenes were warm and I really didn't see how these two would find their HEA, but help comes by way of a surprising source.  The ending gives a little tease to who the next book will be about and I am looking forward to seeing how that turns out!

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an e-ARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*
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This book is my introduction to Mrs Wendy LaCapra talent, and for sure it won’t be my last.
By reading the blurb, I thought it would be an easy read of two persons getting to know another and falling in love but it was a bit like this but so much more too.
Because despite the facade they show to society, behind the mask there are two broken souls.
Lady Clarissa was breed and raised to be the perfect Marchioness except it never came true, and in the process she was left behind by her own brother. It is the last straw. From now on, she decides she would no longer fall under the thumb of a man, at his whim. But by standing for herself, she raises the ire of some very conceited men.

« Freedom—a dizzying thought for a woman groomed like a racehorse to serve a single purpose. »

Lord Markham has always had a thing for Clarissa, even if he stayed clear from her as his sole presence brings scowls to her face. But when her honor is at stake, he steps in and causes more harm than good.
So they are stuck together until they can sort it out.
And during their time together, the masks come off, but Clarissa is so engrossed in her will to remain unwed and free from man’s hands, she become more narrow-minded and blinkered than stubborn bringing hurt in her footsteps.
I adored Percy/Markham, he made mistakes but he did also his best to correct them and he was while having his sisters happiness at mind, never for his sole benefit, he is no selfish man, probably why he is a so sought after lover, because he has the enjoyment of the others as first thing in his mind. And soon, he wants his false courting become a real wooing but he is hampered by Clarissa new resolve. She is willing to explore passion with him but nothing more.
Why out of fear, she will hurt him deeply.

« She’d destroyed him. His sense of other had vanished. She’d broken him to pieces. He loved her with every single piece of his shattered soul. »

I confess I was upset by her willingness to giveaway something wonderful for fear to be lost, but I’m a woman born at the end of the XXth century and my freedom was never at stake, so at time I understood in which position she was, follow her heart and risk her free will or remain unwed and open herself to new adventures.
I arched for Markham and loved him more after his rather soft diatribe but he stayed true to his own rules and let her go, refusing to chain an unwilling woman to himself.

« The culmination had been fusion itself—two separate metal pieces melted and then melded together. And that little part of him—the one he constantly needed to beat down—had gone silent in the tender aftermath of her embrace. Why? He slapped again. Because he’d been bloody claimed. »

It was no sad read, it had plenty of quip and witty banters, their inner thoughts were full of humor, the supporting characters were entertaining and the love the Stanley siblings shares enlightened this tale.

I was provided an advanced review copy by Netgalley but also purchased my own copy.
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Who knew that Markham was such a genuinely deep and emotional character.
Loving , thoughtful, a man who was in effect self made , one who loves to distraction, who values his sisters as he does.

In Scandal I Spades ,book 1 in the series, he’s a rake , a man who gambles his sister away in a card game , to his friend Brompton.
But not so in this , realisation hits and he begins to self analyse , to doubt how people see him , he no longer wants that persona,  that life .
Looking deeper ,he’s a gem . 

When I pick up one of Wendy La Capra’s book I’m never disappointed, her writing is so descriptive so passionate and emotionally stimulating , I can’t get enough.

‘He bent his head and brushed his lips against hers . She let go of the hand she held and hooked her arm behind his neck , drawing him closer and holding him tight.
His insides went molten as he kissed her again , running his tongue along her lower lip. She opened her eyes in shock.
And then , she kissed him back’.

I adored this scene especially, to me it was the first time that both of them realised that they had something special.
In a make believe Courtship  with Clarissa , Markham is determined to save her from ruin, but  the ground shifted and the whole game changed , it was suddenly real .
So eloquently beautiful.
Can you tell I loved the book yet. 

This is the second book of the series, but if you want Mrs Sartin’s story , she’s in a compilation called ,
Second Chance Love A Regency Romance Set by various authors including Wendy . 

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review
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Lady Clarissa Laithe has decided to live life on her terms. After the end of a ten-year betrothal, she wants nothing to do with marriage. Least of all her friend’s brother, the very charming Percival Stanley Lord Markham, or Hearts, as many ladies call the oh-so-handsome earl.
Markham pursues relationships with no ties that bind. Acting the rake leaves everyone satisfied until he overhears a wager that could lead to Clarissa’s ruin. He can’t help but step in and claim that he’s secretly courting her. Clarissa is appalled. She did not need to be saved. Reluctantly, she agrees to the fake courtship, if only to experience what the rakish Markham can offer. 
The second book in the series (although there was also a novella in the Second Chance Love anthology which is Amelia Sartin’s story), whilst this could be read on its own to fully appreciate it I’d recommend reading the series in order. Markham previously came across as a rake but the more I read this story the more I realised there’s so much more to him, charming yes but also honourable caring, astute & very lovable, he also blushes which I loved. Clarissa doesn't want to be tied down or confined & that's how she sees a marriage after all she's overseen her brother’s estate for the past nineteen months, so she's not content to sit, embroider & drink tea. The pair have always been attracted to each other but as their courtship progresses their attraction grows as does their friendship. I thoroughly enjoyed this book & was drawn in from the start & it held my interest all the way through. The characters were well portrayed & on the whole very likeable, although there is one person who I hope gets his comeuppance before the end of the series!
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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This is the first time I have read this author. I did not read the first book in this series, but I found that did not matter to the story. I liked the hero, Markham. I did find it too unbelievable that an innocent like Lady Clarissa (she’s never been kissed!) could seduce a rake like Markham. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I did not know this book was part of the series, but it also can be read alone, which was good. What I liked was the fact that story line was interesting and captivating. The bonus was the fact that the female was strong and opinionated. For all historical romance fans this book will be recommended. Now, I just have to read the author's previous books in that series and continue after.
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The characters in the book seemed to just need their heads knocking together! It was a good read but made a lot of mention to previous books and events which I found very off putting. Overall, it wasnt a bad story but it also wasn't great. 2.5 stars.
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After the man her father betrothed her to ten years ago fails to actually offer for her, and then her brother abandons her for a trip to New York, Lady Clarissa Laithe has decided she's done conforming to the demands and expectations of others.  She's decided to claim independence instead of marriage and she especially doesn't want anything to do with her brother's friend, Hearts, so nicknamed for his ability to pleasure and charm ladies.  Clarissa is immune to his charms and wants no part of his vanity.

Lord Percival Stanley, the Earl of Markham, holds himself apart from any committed relationship, leaving his lovers satisfied but unattached, although he is rather upset to find he's cultivated the reputation of rake, for he's always loathed those scoundrels.  He's considering settling down when he overhears a bet that could ruin Clarissa, a dear friend to both of his sisters.  Ever the gallant, Markham steps in and claims that he is courting her.

Clarissa didn't need or want saving but she agrees to go along with the fake courtship to save face.  Soon their fake courtship and lustful spark turns into real feelings and love, which terrifies Clarissa.  She doesn't want to lose herself in a marriage and believes herself to be the only one who's suffered hurt or loss and her need to protect herself and inability to trust nearly sabotage any hope these two have of a happy ending.  Markham is just as vulnerable as she is, maybe more so, but by the time she sees that, she may have pushed him too far.

Some may find the following spoilery:  A lot of the issues here were caused by Clarissa herself and her tendency to have tunnel vision and see only her only problems and how things would effect her.  When she finally stepped out of her own bubble, things began to look up, but I still think Markham deserved more of an apology from her and he forgave her too easily.

That complaint aside, I really did enjoy this one and loved Markham as a hero.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Lady Clarissa has decided to live life on her terms. After the end of a ten-year betrothal, she wants nothing to do with marriage or the men of the ton. Least of all her friend’s brother, the very charming Lord Markham, or Hearts, as many ladies call the oh-so-handsome earl.

Markham pursues relationships with no ties that bind. Acting the rake leaves everyone satisfied, except that he's never thought himself a rake. He is far too proper to be labeled a rake. Now he finds himself acting the savior for Clarissa.

Clarissa is appalled. She did not need to be saved. Reluctantly, she agrees to the fake courtship.

This story has it's twists and turns. Never did Markham suspect he would actually fall for Clarissa when this all began, but fall he did. Now can he convince her that his feelings are genuine and that marriage to him is her best option. He has willingly given control over this courtship to the lady in question so it is up to her how things will end.
I loved this book. It isn't the first book I've read by this author. It is book #2 in this four book series and I have read them both. I found both to my liking but this one gets slightly higher marks than the first one.
I gave this book 4.75 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization and a sensual rating of 4 of 5 flames.

The intimacy between this pair is pretty descriptive like the first book without being overt.
Although there are carryover characters both books stand well on their own. You will not be lost if you read only one of the two so far but it is helpful for you to read them in order of publication if you are reading both books.
I received a complimentary ARC of this book to read. This in no way affected my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
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