by Cathy Maxwell

July 2002
ISBN: 0-380-81833-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

When Mrs. Deborah Percival is left stranded in an inn with Anthony Aldercy, Earl of Burnell, it’s a bit of an understatement to say that sparks flew. Rather, the earth moved and both were compelled to explore their attraction by holing themselves in the earl’s bedroom for the duration of their stay.

And both found that it is more than just lust at first sight. Unfortunately, Tony has just recently become betrothed for social purposes and deep-rooted honor prevents him from crying off, no matter how much he desperately wants to be with Deborah. Deborah, on the other hand, refuses to be his mistress and refuses to lose the only thing she has left in her impoverished state – her self-respect.

Deborah and Tony are both stubborn people, and although Tony has compelling reasons in his refusal to break what is basically a social contract, we all know that ultimately Deborah is in the right. Their road to happily ever after is full of strife (and lots of sensual intimate moments!), giving the reader doubts as to whether Tony is at all capable of resolving his dilemma. They part and get together several times – and each time they do, they learn something more of each other and themselves.

Cathy Maxwell writes compellingly of these two lovers’ anguish of having found love only to doubt if they were meant to be. Although Deborah’s ultimatum isn’t surprising, Ms. Maxwell makes it easy to empathize with Tony’s plight. With both their families, as well as the local village matrons, complicating matters for both of them, it is Tony’s determination to be with Deborah is what romance is definitely made of! Though Deborah is as eager to be with Tony, she’s relegated to the role of the helpless heroine, depending on Tony to keep them together. Understandably, as a lady restricted by money and society, and with no marketable skills to make it on her own, there’s really not much she can do. However, Deborah is no damsel in distress – in whatever situation she’s thrown in, she’s managed to make the best of her life, as a romance heroine should!

It’s easy to recommend The Lady is Tempted. An engrossing romance with more than enough sensual interludes to burn the pages, you’ll find that time just flew by the time you get to the last page.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Veronica.

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