by Morag McKendrick Pippin

October 2004
ISBN: 0-8439-5452-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Morag McKendrick Pippin takes us to an exotic country that isnít often seen in romances. India during the early 1930s isnít a time or a place that readers visit very often. Ms. Pippin does a marvelous job pulling the reader into the oppressive heat of the Indian summer, as well as the steamy attraction between two people who should stay far away from each other.

Major Nigel Covington-Singh is a member of the British Army stationed in India. He is also the son of the Maharaja of Kashmir. He deals with the prejudice of the British against an Anglo-Indian and the suspicions of the pure blood Indians over a mixed blood. Now, he finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation that is pitting the British against the Indians without hope of a good ending. Finding the killer should be occupying his mind, but he canít seem to get his commanding officerís daughter out of his thoughts.

Elizabeth Mainwarring has returned to India to try and mend her relationship with her father. She isnít planning to stay forever. She is on her way to New Zealand. Sheís a modern woman who doesnít believe in barriers and this open-mindedness could be her downfall. She fights her attraction to Nigel, not because heís Anglo-Indian, but because she is sure heís interested in any attractive woman. Her father and the entire white society in India believe in their superiority and wonít willingly accept a relationship between the two. Holding her head high, Elizabeth knows what she wants and takes a chance at love.

A killer lurks in the shadows, watching the English woman. Her willingness to accept Nigel just as he is drives the murderer to pursue her. As the tension rises, so does the heat between Nigel and Elizabeth. They have to fight not only a killerís obsession, but the prejudice of the very people who should accept them as they are. Can their love survive?

Blood Moon Over Bengal is a stunningly sensual debut. Itís not just the romance between the main characters that makes you sweat. The feel of the mosquitoes and humidity of the Indian summer will drive you to find a fan as you read. Elizabeth is a truly modern woman who accepts each person on his or her own terms. Her heart is open and she is strong enough to go against society if she wants something. Nigel is a man who knows his heart and Elizabeth is his image of his ideal woman. She might drive him to distraction with her loving or crazy with her stubbornness, but he will always keep her safe and hold her tight. The secondary characters and romances are entertaining as well. The use of the Ďslangí of the times might be a little off-putting at first, but it wonít take away from the mystery and love that abounds in this book. I, for one, am waiting impatiently for Ms. Pippinís next book.

Reviewed in September 2004 by Jenni.

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