How would you feel if you discovered that the woman who raised you was not your real mother? That as young girls, you and your sisters were found, abandoned in a cottage. And that as young women, you learn that your birth mother is a famous courtesan?
Author Sara Bennett has been exploring this scenario in her current trilogy. The second installment, Rules of Passion, features the middle daughter, Marietta, and her desire to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Taken in by charm and deceit, Marietta Greentree’s reputation has been shattered by a youthful indiscretion. No longer considered eligible to marry, Marietta does not want to be a burden on her sisters, nor to languish in spinsterhood with a cadre of cats. Determined to carve her own niche in the world, Marietta turns to her mother, Aphrodite, for guidance. After all, she started out with nothing, and now has her own successful business.
Stunned by her daughter’s request, but unwilling to dismiss her out of hand, Aphrodite proposes a radical course of action. She asks Marietta to find a willing gentleman who will be her practice partner. Someone who is experienced in seduction and flirtation but knows just how far to go before calling a halt. Someone like Max Valland - the disinherited Lord Roseby. He is no stranger to scandal, yet has shown himself to be a true gentleman in the face of events that were well beyond his control.
Max knows that he should stay far, far away from the lively, spirited Miss Greentree. Despite her tarnished reputation, he knows a lady when he sees one. She may not be pure as the driven snow, but she is still charmingly naive about men. He is aghast at her idea to enter the demi-monde, and cannot believe that her mother would countenance such a scheme. Of course he will be keeping close tabs on the entire process, if only to save Marietta from herself.
Ms. Bennett has succeeded in recreating the successful blend of passion and intrigue that made Lessons in Seduction a hit with romance readers. Rules of Passion has plenty of heated moments to fire the blood, and a chilling mystery to solve.