by Madeline Hunter

October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-440-24394-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Lord Elliot Rothwell has a dilemma. When his family is contacted by a publisher intent on revealing an old family secret, they ask Elliot to intercede. When the would-be blackmailer dies, the publishing firm is inherited by his daughter. Unfortunately, Elliot knows that she will not be susceptible to genteel persuasion. Stronger methods may be required.

Phaedra Blair was the recipient of an unusual upbringing, and as a result, has radical ideas for a woman of her time. Oblivious to fashion, lacking in social graces and bluntly honest, she feels no remorse about her actions. She promised her dying father that she would publish his memoirs intact, and that is what she will do. It is, in fact, the reason she has come to Italy. Something her father said has piqued her curiosity, and she must learn the truth about her mother. Even Lord Rothwell cannot deter her from her mission.

Author Madeline Hunter continues her Rothwell series with Elliot, the most charming of three brothers. While the entire family is unique, Elliot seems to be the most in control of himself and can easily move in society. Understanding the demons that drive his brothers has left him sympathetic to Miss Blair’s unconventional attitude, but her lack of tact and sense of propriety have left him no choice. He must intercede on her behalf to insure her safety. She will not thank him for interfering in her business.

Phaedra and Elliot seem so dissimilar at first, that it was riveting to see how much each character develops over the course of the novel. Lessons of Desire offers readers a glimpse into a rarely revealed segment of Regency society – the intellectual salons of the artists and writers who would shape the age.

Reviewed in October 2007 by Paula.

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