by Madeline Hunter

ISBN: 0-553-58590-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Madeline Hunterís The Saint is solid, with substance, earthy and sensual, rich in characterization, story and emotions. Bold and strong, just like her hero and heroine. Do yourself a favor and donít miss out on the pleasure of reading her regency as well as her medieval set romances.

Vergil Duclaire, Lord Laclere, has a fascination with opera singers. He is also a very proper man, a man that gets his way. So when he is faced with the problem of finding enough capital to restore his estate he comes upon the perfect solution. His younger brother, Dante, will have to marry his ward, Miss Bianca Kenwood. But of course, American that she is Bianca has other ideas. Ideas that see her, instead of spending her life on an English country estate, on the stage of the grandest opera houses.

Too bad that Vergil has the power and means to force her to be with him. Just as good that she is far too independent to give up. But not too independent, so that at least one of the brothers starts appealing to her. Not Dante though, but Vergil. Vergil the mysterious, the one living a double life.

After one of her regency historicals I was assured that Madeline Hunterís talent would prove to be solid enough to survive a detour from her exceptional medieval set romances. I sort of hoped for only one detour. And for her to return to her medievals. Now that I have read two of her regency set romances I stand corrected. It is obviously not just a detour, a short break. At least now I hope it is not. Iíve come to love her characters, the set of friends, The Dueling Society, sheís given a voice. Her talented, mesmerizing, and yes, absolutely fabulous writing voice.

I know Iím raving. I canít help it, canít do differently. In my opinion Madeline Hunter deserves all the praise I can think of. Her books satisfy. The Saint is not light and funny as someóalthough some of Vergil and Biancaís dialogue is just spot on; it doesít concentrate solely on sexual attractions and escapadesóand still manages to turn up the heat. It doesnít describe every little detail of every garment that is ever worn.

Do those traits sound familiar? All of them were reasons for me to pass on many a regency set romance in recent years. Madeline Hunter though, writes about people I can care about, heroes I can yearn for and heroines I can identify with. She writes stories that entertain while managing to inform and surprise. I truly hope that her upcoming third regency historical release, The Charmer, wonít be the last oneÖfor a very long time!

Reviewed in October 2003 by Kris Alice.

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