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Book CoverLynneC’s review of A Whisper of Disgrace by Sharon Kendrick
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Presents 20 Aug 13

Sharon Kendrick writes risky books. They either work really well or fail, for me at least. There are rarely any “meh” books. She has a smooth, professional style with the power to immerse a reader completely into a story, but sometimes the waif-like virginal character and the extreme alpha male are unbalanced. Not in this one. We have the usual (for Kendrick) virgin, and the very alpha hero, but, in this story, she goes into the reasons for the behavior of each. And the heroine doesn’t take any nonsense.

I really like this quote:

“She knew what he wanted and she knew she could please him by telling him exactly what he wanted to hear—but then what? You caved into a bully once and that was giving him carte blanche to bully you all over again.”

This is a book about a very alpha male and a spirited virgin. So far, so Harlequin. But the alpha has to learn to trust his woman, and the woman has excellent reason for being a virgin and she is truly spirited without being stupid. True, there are some plot inconsistencies, but they don’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the story.

Rosa is the only daughter of the Corettis, the family featured in Presents’ flagship series for this year. They’ve recruited some of their biggest writers for this series and it shows. Every book has demonstrated a quality and richness absent from some other earlier offerings. Now it’s Sharon Kendrick’s turn.

Rosa meets Kulal in a Paris nightclub, where she enters a pole dancing competition. Although Rosa is a sweet virgin, she’s kicking back the traces because she’s just learned that she isn’t her father’s daughter but her uncle’s. Her mother came out with it at the aborted wedding at the start of the Corretti series, and Rosa is trying to cope with the news that has effectively turned her world upside down. Unsurprisingly, Kulal thinks she’s up for it, asks her to spend the night with him and she agrees. But he realizes she’s drunk and she only sleeps at his place. However, the damage is done, and the press get wind of it.

Rosa and Kulal marry but agree it’s temporary, a solution that helps both of them out. He needs a bride and she needs someone powerful enough to keep her family off her back.

Here’s my disconnect: Although Rosa receives messages from her protective family, they don’t come to the hastily arranged wedding or do anything to stop it. They don’t appear at all. I would have liked a scene with at least one of the protective brothers. It just seemed a bit odd.

However, what I like about this book is that although Rosa is seriously smitten, she doesn’t let Kulal walk all over her. She realizes she wants – a career and to be herself, and when he tries to make that impossible, she tells him so and refuses to accept it. Kendrick definitely has me rooting for Rosa.

Rosa isn’t a skinny model type, and Kulal finds himself enjoying that. I like that Rosa doesn’t have much of a hangup about that, either. Rosa thinks her actions through before she acts, and Kulal is forced to rethink his attitudes if he wants to keep her.

A solid entry in the Coretti series. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the Mills and Boon Modern covers for this series. They’re gorgeous.

LynneCs iconGrade: A-


Impulsive and irresistible: Can a Corretti tame a sheikh?

Rosa Corretti cannot forget the one unguarded night she spent with Kulal, when she buried her disgrace beneath the seductive sighs of passion. Now this hard, demanding sheikh wants to control her!

Rosa has been too good for too long and will not jump from one gilded cage to another—no matter how brightly it glitters!

But Kulal has centuries of the desert in his blood and the more Rosa resists, the hotter it fires in his veins. As their passion burns through the tethers around his heart, will this arrogant sheikh accept this Corretti?

Read an excerpt.