Sunday, February 1, 2009

Temptation and Surrender-Stephanie Laurens

Temptation and Surrender
Stephanie Laurens
Morrow, Feb 24 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780061243400

In 1825 using the funds she finally obtained from her portion of her late father’s estate, twenty five year old spinster Emily Beauregard accompanied by her three younger sisters and brother flees her odious guardian Uncle Harold Potheridge. Emily carries an ad for the position of innkeeper-manager of the Red Bells Inn in Colyton, Devon that she hopes to obtain to feed and house her siblings while searching for her family’s lost treasure.

The owner of the Red Bells Inn, wealthy Jonas Tallent, brother-in-law of Lucifer Cynster (see ALL ABOUT LOVE), has just returned from London to get away from the lofty polluted airs and get dirty running his estates. He is shocked when an obvious lady like Emily asks for the innkeeper job. He is even more stunned by his attraction for his new employee; she reciprocates but refuses to act on desire as her family comes before her heart. However, she needs his help in applying the only clue, an enigmatic riddle, to find the treasure.

This is an interesting Cynster sidebar late Regency romance starring two likable lead characters and a strong support cast including Lucifer and his wife Phyllida. Overall the story line is fun to follow as the heroine struggles between temptation and obligation, but her obsessive motive for finding the treasure after wealthy Jonas commits to her and her orphaned siblings never comes across as valid, which also leads to an overdone push and pull by Emily with her beloved. Still fans of the saga will enjoy the romance of a Cynster by marriage.

Harriet Klausner

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