Perfect Kisses - Sylvia Day, Susan Johnson, Noelle Mack My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

Rating based on the Sylvia Day novella “Mischief and the Marquess” (4 stars).

“Mischief and the Marquess”

This novella was soo loveable and sweet, something so very different from SD. The story was beautiful, so were the characters. We 1st meet the Marquess of Fontaine, Justin in “Lucien’s Gamble” in the anthology Bad Boys Ahoy!, which took place about 7 yrs prior to this story. He was the other man who sought to marry the heroine. Justin has matured and became a great man; someone I could totally adore.

Sophie and Justin have been childhood friends for long. Though Justin always had a tendre for her, he never expressed his feelings for the fear of being rejected. This was a matter of misunderstanding and youthful follies I think. And the way SD handled that was amazing. Sophie always thought Justin as a stiff boy/man, who is always admonishing her for this and that. She, never in her wildest dreams, thought that he feels anything deeper for her. Justin was going to be a very good looking man, she knew it even then and was totally besotted. But, she thought him as a ‘perfect’ being whereas she was always not-so-perfect with her various troublemaking and dirty dresses. So, no she never even imagined. Justin’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother are good friends and he visited Sophie’s estate quite regularly in his youth. Justin never thought Sophie has any kind soft feelings towards him either. And when she got engaged to Lord Langley, it only confirmed his thoughts and Justin stopped visiting. Loads of things happened since then; Sophie got pregnant before marriage and lost Langley, though I don’t know what happened. It was a big scandal, she was ruined and ostracized. Her brother, the heir (as their parents were already dead; she’s the daughter of an earl) washed his hands off her. Sophie never had a close relationship with him and lived with her grandmother, still does. Her son, Thomas has been accepted in Langley’s family and visits them often.

After many years, they meet in Justin’s estate again. It was apparent that Justin’s mother and Sophie’s grandmother was matchmaking and not so subtly. Justin just took it in stride. He bore no ill-will for Sophie but he hasn’t seen her for a long time now so, this can’t be a possibility. On the other hand, Sophie also is apprehensive. Justin will never marry a tarnished woman like her. But they see each-other again and et voilà, they fall. WOW but didn’t I just love what happened in the course of the story; how they, especially Sophie tried to thwart the marriage, knowing Justin really wants her. She was genuinely thinking about Justin’s reputation and I believed it. It was full of fun; sweet and damn hot lovin’! Sophie, at first, got a bit scared of Justin’s intense looks and perusal of her. She wants him and she knows it’s much different than what she felt for Langley. And, Justin has already decided that he loves her. Oh how sweeeeeet. *sigh* I love it when a man who falls head over heels 1st in a story! He had always loved her. Justin chose Julienne (see “Lucien’s Gamble”) because she reminded him a lot of Sophie and back then, he knew Sophie is out of his reach. But not anymore and he won’t stop until he makes her his.

On the 1st day, at night when Sophie went to Justin’s room to discuss this ‘impossible situation’, Justin asked her to stay and let him make love to her. It didn’t just happen but they did talk, with that the heat level rose. I loved that. But I also thought that it was the right thing that Sophie declined. She needed to think. Justin wasn’t making it any easier by always complementing her and giving her the look (you know what kind ;) ). She tries to do a few funny stuff to thwart him but only ended up regretting what she did. Then, after much thought, though she doesn’t want to be his mistress (thinking about her son’s future), Sophie decides to make love to him. She’ll have him only for a night and Justin was only happy to accommodate her. And they make crazy, sexy love. She refused his offer of marriage though she didn’t want to. Oh, what to do about this? Really. Justin becomes ever so determined to find a way to solve this problem and for this, he sought out Lucien first...

As I mentioned, I loved this novella from the 1st chapter to the last. I loved both Justin and Sophie, their banters and flirtations. Got the question to my answer that why Justin never fought hard for Julienne. I’m so glad that he didn’t! Also loved the dowager Lady Fontaine and Countess of Cardington, Sophie’s grandmother. I so agree with the last lines of the novella:

The two women leaned back in their wrought-iron chairs and shared a secret smile.
“Beautifully done,” one said to the other.
The laud was apropos of both of them.

It most definitely was beautifully done. From me, 4 stars and lots of sighing to go with it.

“Mischief and the Marquess” has 11 chapters, an epilogue and some hot lovin’. Yes Justin, more please. ;)

I got a few favorite quotes but for that I have to give away a full scene or two. Still, one just to show you how fun this relationship was for me:

“I will make you happy,” he promised. “I will do my best to make Thomas happy.”
“I know, my love,” she crooned.
“But,” his tone was a warning, “if you ever blow pepper up my nose again, I will take my hand to your arse.”
“Perhaps I shall like that,” she teased mischievously.
His c*ck twitched wearily, insanely interested despite being spent. “Bloody hell.”

Lol. :p