Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shameless-Anne Stuart

Anne Stuart
Mira, Jul 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778312970

In 1842 to Polite Society, Viscount Benedick Rohan is cold and cynical. However, he hides from the Ton how much the death of his two wives has impacted his soul. Benedick knows he needs another spouse to birth the heir and spare, but will choose one that cannot bring out his passionate need; he will go elsewhere to satiate his desires. Thus he seeks a “biddable bride”.

Widow Lady Melisande “Charity” Carstairs helps soiled doves start over. When she learns Rohan’s younger brother Brandon has resurrected the family’s notorious Heavenly Host, she vehemently visits Benedick with demands. She insists he act as young women have recently vanished with her believing the Heavenly Host is abducting them. Benedick is shocked with how much he wants Monsoon Melisande and she is as stunned with her desire for the rakish Rohan. They team up to investigate who is behind the change to the Host from orgies to satanic rituals.

Victorian romance readers will enjoy visiting The House of Rohan (see The Wicked House of Rohan and Ruthless) as the family is known to be Shameless when it comes to seducing women. Benedick is no different except he soon finds his Charity seducing him. The entertaining story line is fast-paced as Benedict and Melisande argue, fuss and fight with her dive first into danger mentality. Still in spite of or perhaps due to the seduction war, they team up in love and their inquiry into the Heavenly Host out of concern for the innocent (Charity’s motive) and his brother (Rohan’s motive).

Harriet Klausner

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