After her father commits suicide following the desertion of his wife, a young Kate Duncan is left at the mercy of her aunt Regina. Treated as little more than a servant, sheís spent her entire life endeavoring to be proper, unlike the mother she's been lead to believe was wanton.
She accompanies her cousin Melanie to London, where it is her auntís desire to arrange a marriage between her daughter and Marcus Pelham, Earl of Stamford. Melanie begs her cousin to drug Marcus with a love potion. Wanting nothing to do with the scam, and believing it to be nothing more than wine, Kate drinks the potion herself. A short while later she finds herself in the Earlís bedroom, silently watching him cavorting with another woman.
Unbeknownst to Kate, Marcus had spied her in his bedroom. Heís intrigued by the red haired beauty and upon learning her identity, sets out to seduce her. Kate finds Marcus irresistible, even though she knows he doesnít believe in love. While they dance around an impossible situation, those around them plot and deceive to make the most advantageous match possible.
There are several other secondary stories taking place throughout this book, including a romance between Kateís cousin Christopher and her half sister Selena. In classic Holt fashion, we watch as the innocent heroine is tutored in the art of making love. This talented author takes readers behind the scenes by showing the evil lengths that money hungry people will go to without a second thought. Can an innocent woman win against those set out to destroy her? And can a lonely man learn to recognize love before itís too late?
Further Than Passion is a deeply - for lack of a better word - passionate book I found difficult to put down. Very seldom does a historical novel find its way to my shelf, but this is one author for whom I will always make an exception. Fans wonít be surprised to find this book on their keeper shelf.