Saturday, December 17, 2011

To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries

This is the 4th part of Sabrina Jeffries' Hellions of Halstead Hall series --

Of the siblings, I felt Minerva was the most interesting and Gabriel is a close second.

This is Gabriel's story.

Three deaths haunt Gabriel -- the death of his parents and his best friend, Roger Waverly. He has earned the nickname Angel of Death because it seems that everyone close to him dies.

Gabriel acts like nothing bothers him -- but, deep down (and secretly), he has all but believed the nickname given to him -- he doesn't let anyone close, not even his own siblings.

Then his grandmother issues the ultimatum to him and his siblings -- his 3 older siblings have accepted their fates and have married --

Gabriel and Celia are holding on out on principle (and fear -- fear of letting people close) --

But time is running out -- Gabriel, ever protective of Celia, has come up with a plan that will allow Celia to escape a rushed marriage.

He decides to propose marriage to Roger's sister, Virginia. The problem is, Virginia and her family blame him for Roger's death. And they all hate him.

This does not stop Gabriel from pursuing Virginia --

What begins as a convenient arrangement for Gabriel, becomes utterly inconvenient when his heart gets involved. The more he spends time with Virginia, the more he comes to care for her -- and vise versa. Virginia finds it harder and harder to hold on to her anger when she discovers the real Gabriel.

And it's a Gabriel she has learned to love.

But so much of their past bears down on their present -- and it takes courage and faith from both Gabriel and Virginia to overcome it all.

This was a wonderfully written story -- at the heart of it all, are two orphans, making sense of their world and their hearts. They don't realize how alike they are -- Gabriel and Virginia, both lost their childhoods early with the deaths of their parents.

But the brilliance of Sabrina Jeffries lies in the "story within the story" -- the mystery of Gabriel's parents death continues to unfold --

It's interesting that Jeffries used a "locked room scenario" -- in the beginning (in Oliver's story), it seemed like a simple case: husband and wife were both found dead in a cabin. As the Sharpe siblings stories continue, we learn more and more about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of their parents.

I think, with this series, Jeffries has shown incredible focus and consistency -- 2 different genres have played out in a series of 4 books (so far) -- and she has successfully moved the story forward (and leaving her readers riveted) --

The next (and last?) story is Celia's -- very, very excited to get my copy in 2012!


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