by Nora Roberts

July 1992 Reissue
ISBN: 0-425-18619-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

This book starts with a magical explosion – an act so incredible and alluring that all who behold illusionist Roxanne Nouvelle are dumbstruck! That goes for Luke Callahan who has re-entered her life after five years, only to receive a well-timed punch for his efforts. At this point, the story flashes back in time to some twenty odd years before and we see young Roxanne as she begins her strange journey in the company of her father’s band of magicians.

I am not usually fond of flashbacks because it often seems that they have lost much of their impact. However this is Nora Roberts, a magician in her own right. Before too many pages passed, I was as engrossed in Roxanne’s childhood as was Roxanne herself, and with the entrance of a young, wounded Luke Callahan, the stage for an amazing romance was set.

This is a sizeable tale – over four hundred pages, and released in trade-paperback format, which means larger pages too! There’s a lot of ground to cover, from the unorthodox childhoods of both Luke and Roxanne where their earliest bonds take shape, through their teenage years and into an equally unorthodox adulthood, when passions rise to the surface and troubles multiply for this unlikely duo.

This is a spellbinding book, as magical as the illusions that Roxanne, Luke and her father Max perform to enchant their audience. The characters are thoroughly explored with none of the hurry-up-and-get-to-the-bedroom maneuvers that are common in so many of today’s newer romances. Roxanne and Luke are in our hearts long before they reach each other’s beds, and even then, the passion is only enhanced by the knowledge we share with them of their backgrounds and achievements.

It’s another Nora Roberts winner – first time reader or long-time fan, this is a classic and should be on every contemporary romance lover’s bookshelf.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Celia.

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