If you like high melodrama ... and I mean HIGH melodrama ... you'll enjoy this tale of ghosts, love, and betrayal. Comes complete with anguished hero, damaged child, and healing heroine. Just add a huge dash of tolerance for over-emoting & hair-pulling and you'll be just fine.
Nora Thorngoode, the child of a scary noveau riche merchant (he's an ex-criminal and transportee who made his fortune in America in some mysterious, and doubtless shady, manner) has a serious problem - her reputation has been completely destroyed and now no one (that is, no one respectable) will marry her. Nora's one love is painting and her bounder of an Italian teacher betrayed her by publicizing an erotic portrait of her in the buff, claiming that they're lovers in the hopes that she'll be forced to marry him. Instead, Zachariah Thorngood, Nora's ex-con father, has strong armed Grayson Lowell, also a favorite with the scandal sheets (murder rather than sexcapades for him) to marry her in return for saving his beloved nephew's estate from ruin.
It's not the worst book I've ever read... but that's not a reason to read any book. Mediocre writing, characterizations that manage to be both flat and melodramatic and uninspired interactions between them. It's also guilty of being almost entirely sizzle-free, despite the lurid (and sometimes unintentionally hilarious) writing. I have to include a bit that's a perfect example of everything that's wrong with the book:
"'Perhaps not,' he replied softly. His hand engulfed her shoulder, his fingers clamping with an insistence that startled her. 'Perhaps I simply don't like the terms of your bargain, Lady Lowell...'
... As her mind thrashed in confusion, he grasped her other shoulder and held her firmly against the squabs, then leaned in and set his mouth to hers.
The only points of contact between them were his hands on her shoulders and his open lips on her, yet his touch kindled a fiery presence between her legs..."
Fiery presence between her legs??!! Is she overwhelmed by passion or a VD??? The rest of the book is equally good. I'd only recommend this if you're interested in some fiery, unintentional humor.
Good ghost story. Enjoyed this book more than Dark Temptation (Book 2 of the series).
Read this series because I liked her latest series. However I didn't enjoy these as much as the series she has now. They were ok. Agree with other member liked this book better than the second one. It has a lot going on right down to ghosts, etc. But like many authors you can tell these were her first books.