by Emma Jensen

January 2002
ISBN: 0-8041-1956-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

"They call her Mrs. Nolan."

Helen (Nell) Nolan is notorious Irish courtesan and the former mistress of the late Duke of Clonegal. She has come to London to collect on an old debt. During her efforts to gain an entrée into society to collect she meets Viscount Trevor St. Wulfstan, who is an outcast to London society. Trevor carries around the physical and mental scars of a lifetime of battles. As a young boy, he was scarred by his father and repeatedly told that no woman would ever love him. As a result, Trevor went out of his way to be unlovable, this way, he would never be hurt and what he perceives, as his "curse" will die with him along with his family name. As a grown man, Trevor has fought bravely and secretly for the crown as an assassin. He is growing tired of the life, but feels that he has nothing to offer other then a bankrupt estate and title so he continues to accept "assignments".

Nell was a young woman when she was married and then widowed. When she was approached to become the nursemaid for the mistress of the late Duke of Clonegal, she accepted. When the mistress recovered, it was discovered that the Duke needed her services himself. When he died, and she inherited a sizable income, everyone including his son believed that she had to have been especially "talented" and wanted to find out for themselves what she could "do". All Nell wanted was to collect the money owed to her by her late husband's commanding officer, hence her arrival in London and her wanting an entrée into society.

When Nell and Trevor first meet, the sparks fly. Yet Nell rejects his "suit" because she senses his danger to her emotionally, and she is not willing to take that risk. All she wants to collect her money and go home to Ireland. But Trevor will not take no for an answer.

What follows is a delicate dance being played out between two scarred souls. Neither willing to give in emotionally, but each acknowledging that they need the other, at least to themselves, if not each other.

I enjoyed this story very much. This was the first novel by author Emma Jensen that I have read and I am glad I did. She has written a story about love, forgiveness and beauty being in the eye of the beholder. I highly recommend this book. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for her other works past and future

Reviewed in December 2001 by Carolyn.

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