Despite the old saw about third sons being destined for the church, no one ever expected the rakish, irresponsible Walter Langston to take up the collar, least of all himself. After an accident renders him unfit for military service, however, he has few other options. When he’s given the post of vicar at a parish church in a sleepy, coastal village, he’s convinced he’ll molder in obscurity. Instead, his arrival brings a sudden resurgence in church attendance…or at least, the attendance of female parishioners. As word of the eligible young vicar spreads, every well-heeled family for miles with a marriageable daughter fills his pews, aiming to catch his eye. Unfortunately for these hopeful members of his flock, Walter’s eye has already been caught—by the one woman who doesn’t come to church on Sundays.
Artemisia Finch left a lucrative career as a celebrated member of London’s demimondaine to care for her ailing father. Returning home hasn’t been easy, though, as her past isn’t even a well-kept secret in the village. When the new vicar arrives on her doorstep, Artemisia is determined to send him on his merry, pious way. But Walter Langston is nothing like any man of the cloth she’s ever known—he’s funny, irreverent, handsome, and tempting as sin. Falling in love with a vicar would be a very bad idea for a former courtesan. Why does this one have to be so hot under the collar?
Title: HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
Author: Jackie Barbosa
Series: Lords of Lancashire, book 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Year of release: 2012, July 1
Source: Received an e-ARC from the author for review
The good Lord had a devilish sense of humor.
In other words, to right where he’d always belonged.
– the love scene in the sacristy > what a sinfully hot scene!
Artemisia Finch is a former courtesan. She’s very direct and has been hardened by life and other people’s narrow-mindedness. She’s also lonely, longing for love and companionship.
Walter Langston is military man turned vicar. He’s a third son and when his military career ends abruptly because of a non-threatening injury he decides to take the position of vicar is a small country village. He hates to hurt people’s feelings, which lands him in a predicament sometimes. Walter is witty, charming and pragmatic.
I loved the main characters of this book. They both possessed a great sense of self-deprecating humor, they both accepting their fates in life and they were a great match. I also loved how neither of them beat around the bush and got straight to the point, honestly and directly.
Ever since I read Jackie Barbosa’s THE LESSON PLAN, I noticed how much her writing agreed with me. It’s breaths an authentic historical vibe yet it’s not overly lyrical. It has that clean, crisp tone I love to read. In HOT UNDER THE COLLAR I adored that there was no contrived conflict or misunderstanding. It kept the story fresh and unique and made it an utterly pleasant read for me.
Oh, mercy. No man should be permitted to have a smile like that. A smile that said they were co-conspirators who shared some delicious secret to be protected from the world. Against a smile like that, no woman had a fighting chance. Least of all her.
Kissing her was better than he had imagined kissing might be. He had kissed any number of women in his time, of course, but it had always been a means to an end, a prelude to the primary purpose of the seduction. With this woman, though, he thought perhaps kissing could be an end in itself, an activity to be enjoyed for the pure delight of touching her, tasting her, savoring her.
With a choked cry, she came, her release so blissful and complete, she felt as though she’d been shattered into a thousand brilliant pieces of glass and then reassembled, whole and better than before.
They exchanged no more words. Words were superfluous and inadequate. She wound her arms around his neck as their mouths met in sweet, brutal kisses. Tears welled in her eyes at the fierceness of her emotions. Everything she felt for him was in these kisses. Love, longing, loss. Here in this small room where the profane became sacred and the sacred profane, she laid herself bare to him for what must certainly be the last time. A willing sacrifice to the greater cause.