By Cara Elliott
A reclusive widow known for her scientific scholarship, Lady Ciara Sheffield is shadowed by rumors that she poisoned her husband... A rakehell rogue notorious for his devil-may-care antics, Lucas Bingham, the Earl of Hadley is not accused of murdering anything -- save for the rules of Polite Society. The only thing they have in common is seeing their names featured in the lurid gossip columns of London's newspapers. Until an ancient manuscript draws them together.
Ciara needs a titled fiance to quell the slanderous speculations which may send her to the gallows. Lucas needs brilliant scholar to help his elderly uncle decipher the secrets of the mysterious manuscript. So when her friends urge her to accept the earl's proposal of a temporary alliance, Ciara decides that she had no choice but to make a deal with the Devil. And so begins a seductive dance of naughty pleasures and hidden desires as the two of them waltz through the mansions of Mayfair. Lies, intrigue, treachery, sex. They find themselves facing slanderous whispers, unscrupulous relatives -- not to speak of their own simmering passions, which quickly ignite into dangerous flames. It's a potent mix and the result may be explosive -- and perhaps deadly -- if they don't watch their step.
Here's What I have to Say:
It's another tale of the brainy lady who over-analyzes every detail of everything and the ridiculously handsome, and a little clueless, man that never analyzes a single thing. Elliott has added a new element to this common theme by plunking in down in the Historical Romantic Fiction section. It is all set in Europe's "Polite Society" Era (think just prior to Jane Austen). Everyone is a Lord or lady or Baron or Duchess or some other title. A string over intense events (murder, scandal, attempted embezzlement, attempted kidnapping, etc.) forces Ciara and Lucas to try to help each other find a solution - and that's when it gets hot and heavy! Lucas - a regular Casanova - is determined to change Ciara's opinion that anything intimate is meant to be "endured" not "enjoyed". What starts as a partnership of necessity(for everyone to keep their titles, and their money), becomes something else entirely! A rather steamy read, but good nonetheless I give it a 4/5 and will be looking for the next installment in the Circle of Sin series - To Surrender to a Rogue due out in June 2010.
A little about the Author - Cara Elliot:
You can learn more about Cara and her other books: http://caraelliott.com/ She is also a contributor to the Word Wenches Blog
I started creating books at the age of five, or so my mother tells me. And she has the proof — a neatly penciled story, the pages lavishly illustrated with full color crayon drawings of horses and bound with staples — to back up her claim. I have since moved on from Westerns to writing about Regency England, a time and place that has captured my imagination ever since I opened the covers of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
I have a BA and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and now work as the creative director of a lifestyle sporting magazine, a job which lets me combine my love of the printed word with my love of art. I’m very fortunate in that my work allows me to travel to interesting destinations around the world — however, my favorite spot is London, where the funky antique markets and used book stores offer a wealth of inspiration for my stories.
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