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Feature book: Collector of Hearts

24 June 2020

Collector of Hearts by Cassandra Samuels

Subgenre: Regency romance
Release date: 1 Jun 2018
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Format: ebook
Length: 318 pages
RRP: $1.99 (ebook)

Identical twins Arabella and Isabelle Fleming have one chance to have a London season, which they embrace as much as possible. Their father is not terribly supportive, and their mother appears too delicate in health and sensibilities to be able to guide them as much as they hoped. So, as they always have, the twins rely on each other.

They’ve heard of the infamous ‘Collector of Hearts’: Robert Mallory, Marquis of Shelton. He’s exactly the sort of man they both want to steer clear of. He collects women’s hearts, uses them, then moves on. Some of those women are married and want an extra-marital dalliance. He obliges. When called out by the furious husbands, he practices his deadly marksmanship with sword and pistol, merely giving them a flesh wound instead of—well, death. (Hmm, interesting … why not go for the kill?!) Then he moves on to his next ‘heart’. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

His heart seems cold, and at first the reader’s inclined to think he is a true villain. But Cassandra Samuels does a slow, onion-peel reveal of Robert’s past. And wow, if ever there was a conflicted history, he has it. No wonder he is the way he is. The Prologue alone is worth the price of the book—I predict it will hook you in immediately. It did me.

When Robert strolls into the latest evening engagement and meets the twins, Arabella in particular is alarmed when he sort of stalks her, fully aware of his predatory reputation. Despite his dastardly wicked appeal, she resists every advance, and in fact gives him a firm, fastidious little lecture about leaving them alone.

I love Arabella. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself and her sister—heaven know her parents weren’t about to protect them—and her sister Isabelle is a softer, sweeter personality. So, go Arabella! In fact, Isabelle is a perfect foil for Quinn, Robert’s best friend. He’s also a softer, gentler, honourable man. You find out in due time why he champions Robert, and then can only salute the way he maintains his faithful friendship.

In a fabulous turn of events, while Arabella and Robert begin a prickly, feisty dance around each other, Quinn and Isabelle begin to fall in love. I didn’t expect two romances for the price of one, so was pretty thrilled.

What I was also delighted with was Cassandra Samuels’s witty, fresh turn of phrase and humour. The cat and mouse game with our hero and intrepid heroine was such fun to read! The dialogue absolutely sparkled, and their reactions to each other were marvellously funny.

Was the Collector of Hearts about to have his own heart collected (at last)? Was that even possible?

All in all, a terrifically enjoyable Regency read. I highly recommend it and can’t wait for Cassandra’s next book.

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 24 June 2020 12:50 pm

    Sounds fantastic as are all your books. You always get the best heroes on your covers.

  2. 24 June 2020 9:50 am

    Well done, Cass.

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