by Suzanne Enoch

October 2000
ISBN: 0-380-80917-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

If you were a Suzanne Enoch fan as I am, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend not picking up this book… it’s a good enough read to pass the time but hardly the best of her works.

Victoria Fontaine, otherwise known as Vixen, is a big flirt. Not only is she a big flirt but she also loves to push the boundaries of social conventions. Although she enjoys the occasional (frequent, in her case) light flirtation, she goes over the limits when the Marquis of Althorpe, Sinclair Grafton, takes her outside to the gardens during a ball to share the most passionate kiss Victoria has ever had. Naturally, Victoria was unaware of her surroundings, so caught up in that kiss, that she was caught by her own father, the Earl of Stiveton, while Sin was in the process of hiking up her skirts. What followed is what was socially expected - get married to Sinclair, otherwise know as ‘Lord Sin’ for his, well, sexual exploits.

Sinclair wanted to be seen in Victoria’s company to appear socially acceptable - and get to know her friends. Everyone had thought that Sinclair had been living in the continent for immoral reasons but Sinclair’s “work” required a ruse and that one was as good as any. So when his brother Thomas died and Sinclair inherited the title, he was forced to go back to London, not only for his family but to catch Thomas’ murderer - whom he most likely suspects to be one of Victoria’s roguish set.

I’m not quite sure what makes this read so ordinary; perhaps it’s Vixen. Although Sinclair discovers facets to Victoria’s flighty personality, such as keen intelligence and compassion, I’m not quite convinced that she wasn’t just plain flaky which makes all her other “deeper” personality traits so… unnatural and contrived; as if she’s a fun-loving girl first and foremost and Ms. Enoch had attached all those good qualities so that she can be a proper romance heroine.

Sinclair, on the other hand, is a proper romance hero. If there’s anything that Ms. Enoch excels at, it is creating that perfect man! He’s handsome, roguish, and sexy. But even with all that, if Victoria keeps figuring “stuff” out before he does, it doesn’t make Sinclair look very keen….

The plot is alright and easy to follow - but, I, for one, couldn’t figure out who the killer was… then again, I don’t think I cared very much as the book wore on. There are some really passionate episodes between Sinclair and Victoria that I wouldn’t want to miss and it was fun watching Victoria behave in a lighthearted manner - with all that money and beauty, why shouldn’t she enjoy herself?!

Since I very much enjoyed the other books in her With This Ring series (Reforming a Rake and A Matter of Scandal), I would still recommend to those who have read the other books in the series to pick up this book for the sake of rounding it all out.

Reviewed in February 2002 by Veronica.

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