Don't Bargain With The Devil
Pocket, Jun 2009, $7.99
In 1824 famous illusionist Diego Montalvo plans to convert some property, if he can purchase it, into a pleasure garden. He is unconcerned that next door is The School for Heiresses as he figures the students, faculty and owner Charlotte Harris would learn something useful by being peeping Thomasina.
Teacher Lucinda Seton plans to prevent him from putting a scandalous edifice next to the school though she is not sure how to stop him. Actually, he has no interest in the estate or in building a house of pleasure. Instead he has used that as a ploy to get close to Lucinda to determine if she is the granddaughter of a Spanish nobleman; in return for bringing home the heiress, he will regain his family’s lost property. To prove she is who he thinks he is Diego must seduce Lucinda in order see if she has a special birthmark on her body. As he plays master magician she proves to be his enchantress when they fall in love. However, he knows when she learns the truth about his mission she will flee back to England while he demands she remain in Spain.
The latest School for Heiresses late Regency romance (see LET SLEEPING DOS LIE, BEWARE A SCOT’S REVENGE and NEVER SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL) contains a terrific early premise with the rogue proclaiming his plan. His scheme places the school in jeopardy as zoning codes probably do not exist or if some do they are very ineffective. The story line takes a twist into more traditional historical themes of falling in love with the lost heiress the hero finds but is kept refreshed by his original ploy. Sabrina Jeffries provides quite an education for her fans with this charmer.