"A well told tale"
In 1820 London, thirty-five years old Gyles Rawlings,
the Earl of Chillingworth, decides it is time to marry.
Unlike the Bar Cynster brood he considers close friends,
but who have married for love, he plans to wed a bride who
will add property to his estate. With that in mind, he has
his businessman investigate prospective brides. Based on
the report, Gyles chooses Lady Francesca Rawlings as his
future spouse for a piece of property she owns that he
wants to gain the deed.
The marriage is arranged as a business deal, but at the
altar, Gyles fails to look at his bride until the vows are
exchanged. When he lifts her veil, he finds not the docile
Francesca he expected, but her wild cousin of the same
name. Angry and feeling duped, Gyles wants to reject his
wife, but cannot resist her siren's call and soon he learns
what the Bar Cynster males now know that it is ALL ABOUT
PASSION for one special person.
Though this tale's theme of a doubting rake falling in
love is the same as several of her previous novels,
Stephanie Laurens imbues freshness to her story line. The
romance between the lead couple is ardent and having
the "courtship" occur after their vows adds vigor to the
mix, especially since Gyles has quite a self made mountain
to surmount. Regency romance readers will enjoy this story
and relish the upcoming books starring the distaff twin
cousins seeking a man on a par with any Cynster male.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 23, 2001
"If one is not marrying for love, one may as well marry for something else. My future countess has to be sufficiently docile and endowed with at least passable grace of form, deportment and address."
Fate has made Gyles Rawlings a man determined to control his destiny. He has decided to wed a well-bred lady who will dutifully bear him sons, yet turn a blind eye while he takes his pleasure elsewhere. By all good accounts, Francesca will fit his bill. As for the "elsewhere," he's recently encountered a beautiful, brazen siren who will make a fine mistress, one with a fiery nature to match his own.
But at the altar, Gyles discovers his bride is the bold enchantress who has inspired his deepest fantasies. Finding passion and love in the same woman has long been a secret fear. But as his world is rocked on its axis, Gyles becomes obsessed with possessing the one thing he'd thought he would never want... his wife's heart.