by Jacquie D`Alessandro

October 2003
ISBN: 0-06-053670-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Philip Whitmore, Viscount Greybourne, has a serious problem: his father wants him to marry and produce an heir, but Philip must resist marrying at all costs. An adventurer at heart, Philip discovered an ancient stone tablet during his recent travels, and this tablet curses whomever reads it by predicting the death of the reader's bride. Minor accidents will greet the betrothed up until the wedding, at which point the bride will confront death, and the accidents are coincidental enough that Philip's current fiancee sensibly backs out of the wedding.

This causes Meredith Chilton-Grizedale--the matchmaker responsible for Philip's engagement--nothing but grief. She had hoped to make the match of the Season. It would have sealed her reputation as a matchmaker, but now she must work to undo the damage Philip has caused. She vows to aid him in his search to uncover the missing remnant of the tablet. His hope is that there is some clue in the fragment that will tell him how to undo the dreadful curse so that he can marry and please his ailing father.

However, as Meredith and Philip work together to find the rest of the tablet, someone else lurks in the shadows, impeding their progress. Someone wants the tablet first, and he will stop at nothing to acquire it. His efforts do nothing to interfere with the feelings that are blossoming between Meredith and Philip. Both of them try valiantly to resist their urges. Meredith has a past she wants to hide, and Philip cannot allow someone to claim his heart until the curse is lifted.

I found this story to be quite an engaging read. The curse and Philip's adventures abroad were both highly interesting. A secondary romance forms in the midst of everything else, and though it's a nice subplot, it's nothing the novel really needed to make it complete. My one complaint is that the suspicious character is not so mysterious; any clever reader is sure to guess his identity before the climax. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed in December 2004 by Kelly.

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