by Adele Ashworth

November 2004
ISBN: 0-06-052840-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Adele Ashworth has written another emotional story about two people who must learn to trust each other in order to find love.

Vivian Rael-Lamont has created a new life for herself in the wilds of Cornwall. Hiding her own past, she manages to overcome the pain and disgrace that could ruin her reputation, or so she thinks. On a day like many others, a man arrives to shake her secure world. He wants her to get something for him. A valuable manuscript thatís in the possession of the notorious Duke of Sin, William Raleigh. To save her reputation and her life, Vivian must find a way to get it without letting anyone know.

William Raleigh has lived in seclusion since the death of his first wife. He went to trial for her death and since his acquittal, has shunned society and all but a few friends. When Vivian shows up on his doorstep offering to buy a manuscript only a few people know he owns, William finds himself wondering how to use her offer to his advantage. He knows there is more to Vivianís offer than just an interested collector, but he wants her to trust him with the reasons behind it.

William makes a daring counter-offer. He will give Vivian the manuscript if she will be his companion. Having lived a lonely life, he longs to spend time with a woman, to immerse himself in her presence. Vivian has no choice but to agree. As the two find themselves falling in love, the past is gathering in the shadows to test and torment. Can they find the strength to give their hearts no matter what?

Ms. Ashworth has done it again. William Raleigh is a wonderful hero. Heís strong yet sensitive, having been tortured by the loss of his first wife and the embarrassment of his trial. He longs to reach out but must find the inner courage to trust Vivian. His determination is admirable as he reaches out to her. Vivian is determined to overcome her past. Disappointment makes it harder for her to reach out, but her character manages to overlook society to find long-awaited love. The villain isnít very strong or developed so the suspense isnít there. The story focuses much more on the main characters. We do get a glimpse of Williamís two friends who will be getting their own books in this trilogy.

Duke of Sin is a wonderful beginning to her series and a testament to Vivian and Williamís ability to overcome their past and find love.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Jenni.

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