by Sabrina Jeffries

February 1999
ISBN: 0-380-79748-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Wow! This is the first book by Sabrina Jeffries that I have read, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed. I could not put this book down. Her writing style is captivating, sensual, and very powerful.

Jordan Willis, the Earl of Blackmore, loves a mystery. When Miss Emily Fairchild mistakes him for someone else at a masquerade, he plays along thinking that she's a young widow out to seduce him. But when she is unmasked and he steals a kiss, it proves to be his undoing. And when he finds out that she's a rector's daughter, he doesn't know what to do since innocents are not his usual dalliance. Two months later when he sees her at a ball, he can't believe his eyes. He hasn't thought of anything else but her, since their unforgettable kiss, and here she is posing as Lady Emma Campbell, niece to his political enemy, Lord Nesfield. What's going on here?

When Emily had mistakenly thought Jordan to be her cousin, and went into a carriage with him, she thought her life would be forever changed. But when he kissed her, she knew it would never be the same. He was the notorious rake, the Earl of Blackmore, seducer of widows and married women; known never to dally with an innocent and also to have a heart of granite. Two months later, her dear friend Lady Sophie Nesfield is in trouble; and when her father Lord Nesfield summons her to aide him, she can't refuse. Especially when he blackmails her into a scheme so disastrous, that no good can come of it. She is to pose as his niece, go to London, and find out whom Sophie had tried to run away and elope with. Praying that she would never run into Jordan seemed futile, because at her first outing, there he is, just as handsome and forbidden; as he was the night he kissed her. What will she do if he discovers that she's Emily Fairchild, and not Lady Emma Campbell, niece to Lord Nesfield? She cannot, under any circumstances, let him near her.

But he does uncover her deception, right from the first, and what follows is a sweet and sensual tale of forbidden love and the chipping away of a heart made of stone. As the mystery unfolds, and Jordan finally learns that love in not a 'disease' but a privilege, he comes to realize that life without Emily is not worth living; he will do anything to uncover why Nesfield is blackmailing her and then spend the rest of his life loving her.

This book is a definite keeper. The characters are very well written and the plot moves along so smoothly, that you'll almost feel as if you're there in the storyline. I absolutely loved this book, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too.

Reviewed in August 2001 by Debbie.

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