by Tessa Dare

October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-345-50688-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

Sir Toby Aldridge cannot believe the nerve of some people. After months of speculation and embarrassment, he is forced to be in the same room with his former fiancee and her new husband! Really, it is all too much to take. How can anyone possibly expect him to be polite when that, that pirate stole Sophia?! Toby doesn't care that he looks besotted, or that Sophia is radiantly happy. What about how he feels? Doesn't anyone care?

With revenge in mind, Toby starts across the ballroom when it happens a vision of womanhood so stunning that he forgets to breathe. Who is she, and how can he claim her for his own?

Bel never experienced this feeling before. She was being pursued and seduced in the middle of a dance! Her sheltered upbringing was no match for the handsome man whispering in her ear. What should she do?

Fate has quite the chuckle when Toby meets the woman of his dreams in Tessa Dare's A Lady of Persuasion. The initial irony is of course that Bel is none other than Isabela Grayson, the sister of that pirate. She has come to London to find an influential husband, one who will further her progressive agenda in Parliament. Sir Toby, while a catch on the marriage mart, does not measure up in rank or serious demeanor. That doesn't seem to matter.

Ms. Dare has skillfully given readers plenty to enjoy with this debut trilogy. Her writing style is quite natural and so subtle that you don't even notice it. The characters are well drawn and so lifelike you can almost hear them speaking as you read. The humor that surfaces throughout the book is not contrived but effortless. It successfully brings humanity to her characters.

A Lady of Persuasion is a superlative ending to this trilogy, but only the beginning for Ms. Dare's career. I look forward to what her future holds.

Reviewed in September 2009 by Paula.

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