New York Times bestselling author Samantha James has captured the hearts of readers everywhere with her dramatic love stories of fiery passion, intense emotion, and unforgettable sensuality. Now, Samantha has created a spellbinding romance between two people whose passion defies all logicyet cannot be denied.
Forced to leave her home in the vicarage, proud and resolute Olivia Sherwood has hired on at Ravenwood Hall, where preparation for the new earl's arrival is underway. At first glance, Olivia stands transfixed by the dashing gallant with eyes dark and gleaming in the moonlight. Though his origins are shadowed in secrets, and Olivia knows better than to trust a man she's never met, she is intoxicated by him.
Crossing the threshold of his new home, Dominic St. Bride, the Earl of Ravenwood, sees suspicion in the faces of everyone surrounding himfor his staff knows of his illegitimate birth and dubious background. Yet, the radiant face of a beautiful servant intrigues him. Although the familiar wariness flares in her eyes, Dominic senses a smoldering desire there as well, and he determines to claim her. But can his passionate soul win the unlikely devotion of a defiant maidthereby redeeming him with her unconditional love?
James's newest is a nicely written, unabashedly old-fashioned Regency with strong dollops of sensuality, achieving a higher standard than her previous book (Every Wish Fulfilled). Olivia Sherwood, an impoverished vicar's daughter, is forced to go into service at Ravenwood Hall after her father's death makes her the sole source of support for her blind sister, Emily. The dark and dangerous Gypsy Earl, Dominic St. Bride, who has recently arrived to claim his birthright and ingratiate himself with the people of Stonebridge village, falls in lust (which swiftly becomes love) at first sight with the beautiful, russet-haired Olivia. St. Bride, a tormented Heathcliff-like character, is every dedicated genre reader's dream hero, and, although outwardly prim and proper, Olivia is nonetheless a feisty, winning heroine. Nasty anti-Gypsy prejudice threatens both St. Bride and Olivia, but she comes through to save the day (and their lives) in a satisfying climax. A secondary romance between blind Emily and the Gypsy horse trader, Andre, is also well drawn and complements the main story line. (Dec.)