by Christina Dodd

March 2001
ISBN: 0-380-81199-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Miss Hannah Setterington wasn't exactly running away from her past when she decided to sell her place of business. Never mind that she feels she's being followed - she's decided to take up a job as a companion in the vicinity where she will try to discover her family. Unfortunately for Hannah, the only family she ever knew, aside from her deceased mother, discovered her first.

Dougald Pippard has just recently come into a title that he never expected - he was fifth in line after all, but with the deaths of all his predecessors, inheriting the title started to look a bit lethal. Although he is concerned for his welfare as Lord Raeburn, there are more important things to do - like plot revenge against his runaway wife.

Ms. Dodd's characters are always amusing to say the least. Her heroines are always strong and decisive and that's just how Hannah is… well, sometimes. She can't quite decide what to do when it comes to Dougald! Her feelings regarding Dougald and their marriage are chaotic! Dougald, on the other hand, just wants revenge against Hannah - or so he thinks until he samples Hannah's sweet kisses again. The romance between the two is strong and hot with Hannah as the aggressor some of the time - nothing missish about Hannah, which is an admirable trait to see in a heroine. It also makes Rules of Attraction that much more fun to read!

The secondary characters, comprised of fun-loving elderly women and a dandy of a cousin whom Dougald has inherited along with the title, provided the softer side of Dougald, who can come off pretty harsh at times. It was amusing to see their attempts at matchmaking between Hannah and Dougald, not knowing that they were already married. However entertaining the story is, the explanation provided for the lost nine years between them is a bit thin, hence knocking off one rating. Not only that, the B-plot of murder mystery was also a little on the weak side, as if it was thrown in there just to provide more tension between Hannah and Dougald. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't so obvious. However, the third story concerning a certain tapestry and four elderly ladies saves the day as it offered a lighthearted side of the novel. All in all, the Rules of Attraction is a great book and one that is highly recommended.

Reviewed in January 2002 by Veronica.

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