by Shelley Bradley

September 2002
ISBN: 0821772406
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Shelley Bradley has done it again, with her sequel to her smash hit Strictly Seduction. In Strictly Forbidden, Shelley brings back Gavin Daggett, fifth Duke of Cropthorne.

His cousin James Howland has asked Gavin, to accompany him to greet his betrothed, a Miss Kira Melbourne. James is very adamant in trying to make Gavin understand that sheís a very upstanding, God fearing woman. A perfect woman to become a vicarís wife and help James to lead his flock. In fact, James is a little too enthusiastic in his praises of Miss Melbourne. So much so, that Gavin is a little suspicious that all is not quite as it would seem. And being head of the family, Gavin must make sure that no scandal comes to the family. Heís still trying to live down the one his late father had cost the family.

When Miss Melbourne arrives, with her brother Darius in tow, Gavinís suspicions are confirmed. How can this ravishing creature be betrothed to his loving and quiet, vicar of a cousin? Her beauty, in and of itself, should be a sin! But what Gavin doesnít know, is that Kira is trying to escape her own, very recent scandal, and the only way for her to do that, is to marry James and to be a very good vicar's wife. That will show everyone that sheís not the whore they have all made her out to be. The rumors are all lies, but she canít prove anything. Yes she ran off to elope, but they never made it to Gretna Green. And, yes she was missing for two days, but NOTHING happened. If Jamesí cousin, the Duke, finds out about any of this, heíll be sure to stop the wedding and Kira must make sure that never happens.

Well, of course Gavin finds out about it! Where would the story be if he didnít? But when he does find out the whole sordid story, he tries to buy Kira off, to leave James. When she refuses, he decides to seduce her and make sure that James catches them, so that he will finally admit that Kira would not make a good wife. What Gavin didnít count on, was seducing Kira and finding that she really is a virgin, as she had claimed. Gavin is horrified... heís just committed something that is Strictly Forbidden. Now how to make things right?

I absolutely loved this story. Shelley Bradley is a truly gifted storyteller. Her characters are fully developed and true to life. The sexual tension between Kira and Gavin spark from the pages. The torment that Gavin goes through after seducing his cousinís betrothed will make your heart ache for him. And the pain that Kira is enduring because of the false rumors, will make you want to hold her and tell her things will be okay. Ms. Bradleyís secondary characters are wonderful and add so much to the story, that if they werenít there, the whole plot would be flat.

Shelley Bradley is the epitome of the romance writer. Her stories are witty, fun and very sensual. Any book with her name on it is worth reading. Trust me!

Reviewed in August 2002 by Debbie.

Read more reviews of Shelley Bradley books.Click Here