by Nicole Jordan

October 2001
ISBN: 0-449-00486-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Ivy Books
Mass Market Paperback

Not looking for love but a bride, Lucian found the perfect woman to be his Countess of Wycliff. But Brynn Caldwell wasn't having any of it - at first. Labeled as a witch in her village, she's grown to believe the curse that a gypsy had on generations of women in her family - the man they fall in love with will die. And the same curse also made men fall madly in love with them at first sight - madly as in obsessive, that Brynn has to fight them off with a stick! Lucky girl... or is she?!

Granted, sometimes it's hard to suspend belief on what we, as readers, all know as a silly superstition. However, one has to consider that Brynn is a country girl who grew up with village folk who validate the curse everyday by reminding her of her family's history - especially when Brynn's own fiancť had died. But Lucian, a London gent, isnít likely to fall for that nonsense and does everything in his power to make Brynn his bride.

Although there is more to the curse business, even with Brynnís upbringing, her belief in the curse throughout her marriage to Lucian grew annoying. She already cares for him, even halfway in love with him, but refuses to accept the fact to herself. Thus, she tries to thwart Lucianís every seduction attempt (ok, not every!) in order to ďsaveĒ him. (Roll eyes.)

Lucianís smarter than that, and knows heís got more important things to deal with than Brynnís fear of the curse. Thereís her brother, whose smuggling activities was to relieve his family of debt, at first, but whose reasons become more sinister. Which makes Lucian wonder if Brynn is part of itÖ and if not, where will Brynnís loyalty lay once Lucian is forced to arrest her brother for treason?

Lucianís an admirable romance hero Ė heís titled, rich, intelligent, attractive and dangerous. Oh Ė and a fantastic lover (of course). But as I mentioned thereís more to the curse Ė there are also Brynnís AND Lucianís dreams that, strangely enough, coincide with one another. Itís a plot device Iím not too fond of for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gives credence to the curse and, consequently, Brynnís fear of it, making Lucian a bit foolish for easily dismissing it. Secondly, since the dreams mysteriously and vaguely refer to betrayal, it gives Lucian doubts to Brynnís capacity to loyalty and love. Since Lucian doesnít believe in the curse, his recurring dream is the only thing that creates some anxiety and tension for him with regards to his marriage, which also makes him suspicious of Brynn's every move.

As with any Nicole Jordan book, Desire is full of steamy scenes between Lucian and Brynn. And itís definitely sexy! But as far as the story is concerned, itís too over-the-top, making it difficult to suspend belief. But no matter how average it is, if youíre a Nicole Jordan fan, you probably wonít be disappointed with Desire.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Veronica.

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