Declan Farrell, earl of Dungannon and the famous highwayman known as “the Gypsy,” is about to have his heart stolen by the very woman he intends not to marry.
BACK COVER COPY:STAND AND DELIVERDeclan Farrell, earl of Dungannon and the son of the duke of Arlington, is a nobleman of the highest order, dissolute and a thief. He is a drinker and a lover, and at night he is “the Gypsy,” a highwayman who prowls from the city of Boreas to Chappendale Forest.And yet, his heart is true. Impelled by a tragic past, he steals from the rich and gives to the poor, offers hope to those who cannot fight their fate. So much was taken from him, which is why he gives. He himself is undeserving of love and happiness, but there are those who are worthy, like Lady Althea Standfield, daughter to the duke of Oxmoor. Independent and kind, beautiful and smart, she must be freed from the obligation of marrying him. His heart might be stolen by a woman of such fine form and finer character...but his heart is all that he has left, and it is perfectly protected.
She licked her lips—wondering what his would taste like. How the sculpted muscles that undulated beneath the wet shirt would feel against her palms. How tight those brawny arms would hold her.
His smile widened, became knowing and he began to slide his hand slowly up and down the handle of the pitchfork in a suggestive way.
Althea stumbled away from the window, turned then looked wildly about her.
She had to have him.
She must have him whether he was willing or not.
If it was the last thing she ever did, she would claim that man as her own!
“I have such need for you, wench,” he said.
That was more than evident to her. He was close enough for her to feel the tip of his cock pressing against her body.
The laces undone, he pushed her nightdress over her shoulders and it fell from her arms, rippled down her body to pool at her feet. Before she could take another breath, he snaked his arms around her, put his hands to her rump and lifted her. She wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms around his neck and kissed him. He took three steps to her bed, turned and drew her down with him to the narrow mattress.
From their very first night together she had known he would always be a gentle—and thorough—lover. He always put her pleasure before his own and this night was no different. His hard body covered hers, his delicious weight pressing her into the covers, and he smoothly eased her thighs apart with his hips. His lips moved to her chin, her neck, the sensitive sweep of flesh between neck and shoulder and then he was gliding down her. The moment his mouth closed over her straining nipple, she arched toward him. His low chuckle vibrated against that turgid peak to send chills down her sides.
A southerner transplanted to Iowa, Charlotte Boyett-Compo (her friends call her Charlee) is a multi-published author of almost all sub-genres of Romance fiction. Under the Mayhaw Tree is her 100th book. Over the years, her novels have won critical acclaim and many awards. When asked why she writes, she's said, "I write because the urge is there and it's like an itch you can not ignore. Sometimes, I think if I don't get my thoughts down on paper, I'll go insane. It is a craving, an addiction, that unless you experience it, you can't quite explain to 'normal' people."
I'm not quite sure how or what all I feel for Moonlight Rider. I was excited to read about the dangerous highwayman with the tortured soul and it started off great, I was really into the book, but then we came to this huge plot twist and it messed me up. If there had been some warning, I think it would've made reading the book a little easier and a lot less confusing for me. Everything was colored by the twist and it was hard for me to enjoy reading most of Moonlight Rider. I do know I loved the ending, but I can't say for sure whether or not I love it when I think about it as a whole, but I definitely don't hate it.
The first thought I had when I met Declan Farrell was pretty much OMG! He's just like Robin Hood! and I thought he was just awesome. I thought I would love him just like that, but I didn't and I still don't. I don't like the way he is with Aleatha for most of the book, he doesn't treat her right, and he ends up being a jerk even though I know most of the time he wasn't trying to be for cruel reasons. Declan is truly a great guy with great qualities, but my loyalty was with Aleatha and his behavior just overshadowed his goodness with me and made me dislike him. I liked him when he finally stopped being an idjut as his awesome best friend, Jack, would call him and realized he loved Aleatha, but he's still definitely not my favorite person.
Now while I'm not too fond of Declan, I absolutely LOVE Lady Aleatha! She surprised me from the moment I met her and she is an amazing heroine! She's witty, strong, determined, sweet, devoted, and loyal. I can't tell you all she does for Declan, but I can tell you she's selfless, loves him with everything she is, and she's just the best person in the book. Aleatha is by far my favorite, but there were quite a few characters that I loved a lot too!!
Moonlight Rider is full of danger, steam, heartache, and many twists and turns. It confused me, angered me, and made me ache, but it did make me laugh and smile too. It turned out to be more than I originally thought it would be, it surprised me, kept me on my toes, and it was never boring. I didn't particularly love it because I couldn't enjoy most of it, but I would definitely want to read another Charlotte Boyett-Compo historical or any of her books again. I can't say if I would read this book knowing what I know now, but that's more to do with my own issues than because the book wasn't good - it was and I do think it's worth the read because it really does make me you feel.
Moonlight Rider is a standalone, it's told from multiple points of view, and it does end in a HEA.