Make Me Yours by Betina Krahn is my first Blaze Historical. That cover screams contemporary doesn’t it? Moving on. This also marks my first time reading Betina Krahn as well and I’m happy to say that this light historical romp was a pleasant surprise and a joy to read.
This Victorian tales starts off with a bunch of rowdy nobleman disturbing the peace at Mariah Eller’s inn. To keep the peace and avert destruction, Mariah improvises and entertains the men and manages to calm the situation down before things get out of hand.
In the company of these drunkards is none other than Prince Albert Edward himself, who also goes by “Bertie” to his family and friends. Mariah recognizes him and his bulk immediately.
Jack St. Lawrence aka Iron Jack, is the prince’s man of affairs and the only one he trusts to tell him the truth. He’s also the only one sober after their recent hunting trip. Jack realizes the sticky situation Mariah is in for here. She can’t just throw the men out even though they deserve it. This is the future King of Britain we’re talking about here. With a diplomatic touch, she manages to circumvent destruction to her inn and in doing so she captures Bertie’s lust filled attentions.
When Mariah and Jack help the snoring prince to his bed, a misunderstanding develops. A week later, the future king sends Jack St. Lawrence and Baron Marchant to seek out Mariah Eller, a widow, to be his mistress. Of course Mariah is insulted. Bertie also wants her to find a husband so that after their little affair is over, she can find her merry way back to her husband’s waiting arms.
According to the author’s note, using sex for favor was a common practice in Victorian times. I’d add that it’s true still today as well but that’s -. Bertie does offer to pay for Mariah’s debts and her future husband would be someone who didn’t mind that she shared the prince’s bed. A friend of the prince was a highly sought after position that had its own rewards.
Jack, who is used to taking charge of Bertie’s sensitive issues, doesn’t care for this one. Especially when he finds out that Mariah insists on visiting each and every suitor on his “husband list.” The romance part of the story takes place during this impromptu trip. Jack finds Mariah a warm and sensual woman. She unlocks that secret part of him that he kept hidden from the world. She unlocks his secret desires and makes him laugh.
As for Mariah, she is a breath of fresh air. She is a smart woman who embraces her sexuality. The romance between Jack and Mariah unfolds nicely. It did tend to get a bit sappy but that’s the cynic in me talking. The story is also bursting with humor and none of it felt forced. I think Mariah made this story work because she just wasn’t the typical heroine who had a bad marriage with a villainous husband who made sex horrible.
Make Me Yours is a fun and fast read. I would be hard pressed to complain much. I thought the premise was an humorous and interesting one. Mariah was the star in this story but Jack wasn’t too far behind. He is a bit of a stuffed shirt at the start but he ends up making some changes for the better. If there were two people who deserved each other in fiction, it would be these two, Mariah and Jack. Good story. B.