by Elizabeth Ann Michaels

January 1997
ISBN: 0-8217-5540-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

I have a confession! I am a sucker for three or four paperbacks wrapped together and sold as a bundle, whether I recognize a writer or not. It just seems wonderful to go home with four new books to read! And occasionally, within that bundle is a gem like this novel, by Elizabeth Ann Michaels.

If you’re expecting a routine Regency, then you are in for a surprise. Miss Gabriella Spencer is unlike any Regency heroine you’ve run across lately. She’s extremely intelligent, quite brilliant actually, having accompanied her anthropologist father on most of his international digs. She’s scrupulously honest—not always a good thing when one is trying to make an impression on the Ton, and she is quite lovely. That latter feature catches the Earl of Lancaster’s eye when Gabby returns a very lost little boy to his father’s arms. Adam Drake, the current Earl, is a widower with a six year old, who will be the next Earl. William is also the light of his father’s life. William has found a new friend – Gabby, and Adam realizes that he’d like to be Gabby’s friend too. Her very close friend.

Gabby, unlike the rest of her Regency counterparts, doesn’t faint, giggle, maneuver herself into his arms, or employ any of the routine ploys for attention. Instead, she weighs the checks and balances, and decides she’s in love with Adam Drake.

The dance progresses from there, and it’s a wonderfully passionate and sensual one. Gabby is an alpha heroine, quite out of her element in the ton. Adam is an alpha hero, and is getting quite bruised from continually bumping up against Gabby’s humor, or her intelligence, or a combination of both.

If you’re a traditional Regency fan, you might want to try this book for a glimpse into another kind of Regency romance, one with few frills and lots of honesty. If you are looking for a perfectly matched couple who share an explosive love affair, then this is certainly the book for you. It’s fun, well thought out, and the characters will stay with you after the last page is turned.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Celia.

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