When I had been given the ARC by Edelweiss and Ballantine Books, I was thrilled because even though I haven't read this author in a long while, I have enjoyed her in the past. I had also read some very positive reviews, that made me excited to read this story. It is definitely a bit more intense than I expected. It is based on the tale of Romeo and Juliet...only this time it actually has a happy ending (which is a requirement for any book I read) But this couple does have a bit of a bumpy road before they get to the roses and daisies.
From the beginning it starts out with Jack, who is known as a rake, but is also part of a family that is practically at war with Sophie's family. Jack's cousin, is on a mission to convince him that Sophie is his mate and as such he needs to pursue her. At first he thinks she is crazy, but there is a certain connection from their first kiss, at a masquerade ball, where Sophie's passions are awakened and desire for a man that should be her enemy, is far from it. Sophie has a duty to her parents, who are financially struggling if it wasn't for her aunt. So a marriage proposal from a titled lord is what her father desires for her. But when Jack consistently pursues her ina way that she finds it hard to resist...from Jack climbing up the wall to her room, to meeting in secret for sensual rendezvous, she knows that she is in trouble of falling hard for him, especially when she knows that it isn't possible to have a future with him. Her father blames the Wilde's for quite a bit, and has hardened his heart. So Jack is forced to take desperate measures when Sophie finds herself engaged to a man that would bore her to tears. Now Sophie will have to decide what is more important: her obligation to her family, or her love and passion with Jack.
Jack is very unlike most heroes you usually see. Even though he is rumored to be a rake, he is far from it. He is very protective of others, has many vulnerabilities and there is so much depth to Jack, I fell in love with him from the beginning, I so wish I could have traded places with Sophie, I would love to have Jack as my own---sexy, protective, loyal, involved in helping others in need, and a fighter for the woman he loves. Jack isn't resistant to love like most heroes of this era, he is willing to give their relationship a fighting chance to succeed. Sophie I found to be very likable, even if she could have had a bit more spin when it came to Jack. But I understood her reasons, her family is everything to her. I admired her devotion to them and her desire to sacrifice for them, but it was fun seeing her change into a fighter for both her family and the man she loves. It was interesting to see the slow change in her, and I loved seeing the development in both Jack and Sophie. There was so much depth to these characters, and seeing the side characters added to the story in a delightful way.
There were so many things that I liked about this story, and I can't think of anything major that I didn't like. There was so much to LOVER BE MINE that made for a strong and sensational story...that reminded me of why I love romance novels so much. Even though I haven't read the first one in the series, I didn't feel lost or anything, it was easy to catch on, and I wasn't ever lost. The plot was fun and I enjoyed how it followed the play of Romeo and Juliet---even the whole climbing up the tower to talk to Sophie-I do love a hero who has more stubbornness than sense--makes it more exciting and unique. I love the wide variety of emotions that were displayed through the story, that only made it more vivid and almost real. Such a powerful driven story of passion, love and deep emotion that will blow you away!!!