by Lisa Valdez

July 2005
ISBN: 0-425-20397-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Mark Randolph Hawkmore, Earl of Langley, will do anything to protect his younger brother, Matt. Their mother, Lucinda Margarita Hawkmore, had a secret known only by two people, the father of her child and her friend, Abigail. Not only did Lucinda tell Abigail about the affair she had, she also put it in writing and Abigail kept the letter instead of burning it as Lucinda requested. Now the Earl of Langley is being blackmailed into a loveless marriage to protect his brother. Matt does not know he is only Mark’s half brother and to save him from a possible broken engagement Mark must marry Abigail's daughter, Charlotte Rebecca Lawrence.

Passion Elizabeth Dare Redington has been a widow for two years and is in London to help her cousin, Charlotte Rebecca Lawrence prepare for her coming out. Her father, a widowed vicar, raised Passion so duty and obligation have been a part of her life. During her marriage, Passion learned to accept that her life would be without the tender touch of a man for her late husband was not only cruel emotionally but also physically.

While attending an exhibition, Passion is saved from a falling palm tree by a stranger who has awakened her desire just from a touch. They share a sexual interlude behind a screen but their appetites are not fulfilled. They agree to meet many times and Mark even learns where Passion is staying and visits her room many times.

What will happen when Passion finds out that Mark is engaged to her cousin? Will she continue her relationship with him? Will Mark continue to be blackmailed by Abigail and his mother? What of his brother, Matt? Does the truth come out and if so will it be too late for the two? How will Charlotte react when she learns the man she is to marry is being blackmailed?

I enjoyed this book and found it to be very sexual from the first chapter. It’s like reading an Ellora’s Cave but even better for it was so risqué as well as very hot. I did not like some of the language and how a female part is expressed but I realize that this is how Lisa Valdez expressed her writings. I felt that the writer got away from the love and romance and focused on the sex more than necessary.

Reviewed in February 2006 by Theresa.

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