by Stephanie Laurens

March 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-084086-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books

When Charles Morwellan’s sister Alathea married Gabriel Cynster, he gained much more than a brother-in-law. He became part of the wide-reaching circle of Cynster family and friends. Now, at the age of thirty, it is time for him to take a bride. Having watched his closest friends succumb to fate and marry, he is determined to select his bride on his own terms. Author Stephanie Laurens makes sure that Charlie works hard to gain a wife in The Taste of Innocence.

Confident that her family will accept his suit, Charlie is pleased when Sarah Conningham’s parents allow him to court their oldest daughter. He is dismayed to discover that she has her own expectations of marriage, and that they do not necessarily match his own. Nevertheless, he is determined that she will suit his needs, and agrees to a two-week courtship period. He cannot understand why she needs two more weeks when she has known him all her life, but it seems important to her, and he wants to start their marriage off right. He is confident that she will accept his proposal.

Sarah is flattered by Charlie’s offer, yet deeply disturbed by it. He has known her forever, and yet does not know her at all. Is his idea of marriage so shallow that pleasant conversation, a well-run household and a few children are his entire goal? What about love? While she knows Charlie, her neighbor, she does not really know Charles Morwellan, Eighth Earl of Meredith.

Readers will relish the romance in The Taste of Innocence and be riveted to the suspenseful action. There is a villain in Somerset, and he will stop at nothing to gain Quilley Farm, Sarah’s inheritance. I was sorry to see this novel end, but know that another fine book by Ms. Laurens is just around the corner.

Reviewed in February 2007 by Paula.

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