My GR stats tell me I've read 27 books so far this year. Of those, I've given 5 stars to only 6 of them. A Tale of Two Lovers was one of those books.
Maya Rodale is a new-to-me author, but damned if she isn't going to become an autobuy. She is seriously good.
There are a number of really good reviews already on GR, so I'm not going to outline the plot (which was a novel spin on the gossipy ways of the ton
and the strictures of 1820s England) or gush about the Hero (although he was extremely gush-worthy) or prattle on about the strength and wit of the heroine (what else can I say about a woman who shoots at drunken Hero when he won't quit singing dirty limericks outside of her house?).
I won't go into the pages of verbal sparring (which was fast-paced and entertaining), or how enjoyable it was to watch the Hero and heroine sharpening their wits on each other and falling in love in the process.
Did I mention the chemistry? It's not just their wits they are sharpening on each other -- they strike sparks from their first meeting. Delicious.
The author handles the switch from dislike and distrust to attraction, to passion, then love with a deft hand. I genuinely liked both characters. When they quit trying to ruin each other and started working together they were a force to be reckoned with.
This book is second in a series, but can be read as a stand alone - the characters from the first book appear here, but only peripherally.
A rollicking, entertaining battle of wits with just enough angst to add some depth, a little mystery to keep me guessing and enough steam to hold me in my chair for the better part of a Sunday.
5 stars -- and thanks to my GR friend Eastofoz for the recommendation!