by Susan Grace

July 2002
ISBN: 0-821-77372-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Eric Grayson’s arrival after years of being away from home and family was subtly missed by everyone except for his mother and twin brother, Trelayne. But after 18 years of being a mercenary soldier, Eric now longs for home and hearth – including a loving wife. Unfortunately, the wife he eventually covets is his twin brother’s fiancée, Belle.

However, Trelayne’s life is in danger and Eric is forced to assume his brother’s identity to flush out the killer… and though his family knows of the deception, Belle is kept in the dark, for her own father’s disappearance cast him as one of the suspects. As it stands, Belle isn’t even aware that Trelayne has a twin brother!

Despite the fact that Eric has some unexplainable bond with his twin brother, 18 years is too long to be apart, and understandably, Eric cannot pull off the charade without his family’s help. But only a few people are suspicious of the switch, one of them is Paris, Belle’s cousin, who has had a contentious relationship with Trelayne – but not with Eric, who is too agreeable to her to be believed. Belle, on the other hand, notices nothing amiss except for the fact that she’s much happier with the new Trelayne than she was with the “old” one! She has always admired Trelayne’s face and form, even his intelligence, but now she’s actually falling in love with the person… sooner than she had thought.

The premise and plot is a bit predictable – except for the murderer part; it was pretty hard to guess with a number of secondary characters running around. But Eric and Belle are clearly made for each other, if only for the reason that Eric really adores Belle for herself, as opposed to Trelayne, an aspiring politician who needs and wants Belle to be of a certain mold. Both Eric and Belle are likeable people whose romance is deftly done.

But all’s well that ends well in this tale so that no one is left alone or unhappy – and even a bit of mythology is wrapped up and demystified in the end.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Veronica.

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