Okay, readers of romance. The reviews on this book are definitely mixed. You either love it or hate it. And I know why. For one thing, this is not your usual romance fare. This is a story with a serious plot and some serious issues. For me, it's the best Brenda Joyce book ever, even over her latest contemporary stuff. Why? Because it's truly suspenseful. The characters are developed and not fluff. There are issues, dark issues. I loved this book. It's a keeper on my shelf and I hardly ever keep my romances. I trade them. Personally, I liked the heroine. She was very conflicted in her own right. And the hero had his own problems too. It was not two people emoting over each other or yeah-yeahing for pages and pages. This is a real story, with real heart. It's dark. It's dangerous. It's sometimes sad, but it's gripping love story about two people who need to heal emotionally. Also, few supernatural elements. Nicely done, Ms. Joyce. I just wish you would do this more often in historical times and not contemporary. Forget the numbers. Follow your heart.
This is a romantic suspensful story involving a woman and her daughter who have a "gift". Her husband hates her...for his own reason and keeps her in the country. she meets our hero and falls in love for the first time. Only there are mysteries to be solved, battles to be fought, and hearts to be won.
I LOVE this book. I reread it about once a year. Only her book Splender tops it.
I loved this book...Garrick, so troubled and alone... WOW!!! I love those dark, haunted men...
Fantastic, riveting! Full of mystery. Nice paranormal elements. You won't want to put it down!
After Lionel De Vere's mysterious disappearance, Garrick De Vere became heir to an estate shrouded in scandal.Blackmailed by his powerful father into returning to England after a decade-long exile,Garrick finds himself forced into confronting the past and defending his innocence against those who wished to see him banished forever.
Historical British romance. Amidst whispers of treachery and murder, the Stanhope heir vanishes without a trace. Outcast by society, Lady Olivia Grey and Lionel De Vere fight to expose a legacy of deciet and claim the love that defied their entire world.
A strong historical romance.
After his brother vanishes, Garrick De Vere becomes heir to an estate shrouded in scandal. Lady Olivia Grey and her daughter both possess the shattering "gift" of sight, and it is this vision which drives Olivia from a loveless marriage directly into the heart of a bitter rivalry between 2 brothers.
When Lionel DeVere, young heir to the earldom of Stanhope, vanishes, the old earl presumes that his second son, Garrick, is responsible and sends him into exile. But this Georgian by the author of Splendor really starts 14 years later when the earl summons Garrick home and demands that he accept his responsibilities?including betrothal to a young twit who bores Garrick to death. Garrick is much more intrigued by her companion, Lady Olivia Grey, who's married to his lifelong enemy, Arlen Grey, an evil man who brutalizes Olivia and her young daughter because both have ESP. As is often the case, these special powers tend to substitute for more banal, but also more meaningful, motivations. The lack of real sexual tension pulls down the plot, but it gains momentum when the long-lost Lionel suddenly reappears to claim his earldom, which raises the question of where he has been and even who he is.
Emotionally abused Garrick De Vere could never please his father, the Earl of Stanhope. After his brother Lionel disappears and is assumed dead, Garrick escapes to Barbados. His father resorts to trickery to get his son to return and emotional blackmail to get him to marry and produce an heir. Olivia Grey is married to Arlen Grey, Earl of Ashburn. Arlen is having an incestuous relationship with his sister, Elizabeth, and delights in belittling and hitting Olivia whom he fears for her psychic gifts. Olivia and Arlen's daughter, Hannah, blind from birth, also has the gift of foresight. Olivia fears for her daughter and has hidden her powers from Arlen. While at their country estate, Olivia and Hannah awake one night in time to prevent one of their guests, Susan Layton from committing suicide. Susan is upset because she's been betrothed to Garrick and believes him a murderer. Olivia accompanies Susan to London to meet her fiancé. Garrick is cruel and rude to Susan, and manages to proposition Olivia, who finds him dangerously compelling, before he leaves. Despite vowing not to get involved with him, Olivia finds herself in love with Garrick and plunged into an affair that imperils both she and Hannah. Then Lionel reappears and Garrick must try to prove that this Lionel is not his real brother while at the same time rescuing Olivia and Hannah from the evil Arlen. Although I did admire the crafting of this book and Joyce's writing style, I must say that this is a grim, dark, angst-driven read that at times made me feel ill. Aside from the fact that there is adultery throughout the storyline and betrayal of friendship by Olivia, everyone is so incredibly cruel and corrupt. I did find Hannah fascinating, and if her story is written it should be intriguing. The Rival is a book that churns with emotion and danger. A dark romantic maelstrom that Joyce fans will savor to the last page! Joyce's writing is like silk! Powerful, evocative and emotionally charged!