‘One – two – three – heave!’ cried the admiral, and the table was slid back in place. He gazed down on its polished surface happily, observed there wasn’t a single irreperable scratch, and then his smile faded like a powder disolving in a glass. A red flush spread up his neck and across his face, and he swayed on his feet as he treid to speak.
‘The Emerald! Where is the – ‘
This was all he got out before he pitched headfirst onto the table, his great bulk making it resound like an enormous drum.
It is Lady Truthful Newington’s eighteenth birthday and, at a small family gathering, her father is keen to show off the Newington Emerald which will one day be hers. The night goes well until a sudden storm hits the house and, in the chaos that follows, the emerald disappears. As her father lies ill, Truthful decides she must travel to London and attempt to recover the heirloom.
Soon, Truthful is balancing twin roles – that of herself, and that of her alter-ego, a young Frenchman. Disgused as a man she can take risks and gain entry to places she never could as a young man. But there are many dangers, not the least of which is discovery.Then there is the risk of falling in love. Truthful must stay safe and focussed if she is to find the Emerald and save her father’s life.
Newt’s Emerald is a treat. In the style of a Regency Romance, the fantasy blends mystery, romance and intrigue, with the addition of magic and sorcery for an absorbing, satisfying whole.
Fans of Nix’s work will find this a little different – but still with the quality we’ve come to expect. Lovers of regency romances such as those of Georgette Heyer will also enjoy Newt’s Emerald.
A ripping read.
Newt’s Emerald, by Garth Nix
Allen & Unwin, 2015
Late afternoon sun flooded her in soft gold and played across her loosely bound tumble of tawny hair. In the clear light, her vivid red dress was like a sudden flame. The effect was worthy of the Theatre Royal
Even he, familiar to ennui with courtesans’ tricks, had felt his breath catch at first sight of her. One glance and the blood in his veins hummed a deep, dark song of desire, and his skin prickled with the compulsion to make her his.
Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith, is in the market for a new mistress. Since his beloved wife’s death he has been determined never to love again, instead taking a string of mistresses to his bed. But when he sees Olivia Raines for the first time, he finds he is not as unaffected as he expects to be. He must have her, whatever the cost. Olivia, too, is affected by her meeting with Erith. In spite of her outward calm, she is drawn to the man in ways she can’t explain – especially when she has vowed to hate all men.
Soon, Olivia is living in the house Erith provides, and their relationship begins – but it doesn’t follow the path either has planned. Olivia is surprised to discover Erith is smarter and more considerate than other men she has met, and Erith discovers Olivia has scars hidden beneath her cultivated exterior. And for both, this relationship is unlike any other each has had before – and impossible to walk away from. But the stakes of continuing their relationship are high, possibly too high.
Tempt The Devil is a steamy regency romance from one of Australia’s finest romance authors, Anna Campbell. Campbell takes us into and behind the scenes of London society of the time, developing relationships and exploring the realities of life in the times – including the unjust impact society’s rules can have on individuals. In the end, though, this is first and foremost a sensuous romance with two likeable characters working against the odds to cement their relationship.
A sizzling read.
Tempt the devil, by Anna Campbell
Avon Books, 2009
This book is available online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereveiws.
Watching him stroll, ineffably graceful, across the room toward her – allowing herself to – had been a mistake. All that harnessed power condensed into one male – a male no one with functioning eyes would rate as anything less than dangerous – was a phenomenon guaranteed to distract any living, breathing woman. Her most of all. Yet today she needed to reach past the glamour and deal with the man.
Twelve years ago Christian Allardyce, Marquess of Dearne, went away to war, leaving behind the woman he loved, who promised to wait. Now he is back in London, but his love – Lady Letitia Randall – is married to another man, and they no longer speak. Until the day Letitia comes to him for help. Her husband has been murdered and her brother stands accused of the crime. Letitia needs Christian’s help to prove Justin’s innocence and to find the true murderer.
Whilst Christian fights the desire for revenge against the woman who scorned him, Letitia fights her own battle. She believes Christian abandoned her, and has turned to him now only in desperation. But as they work together to solve the crime and prove Justin’s innocence, their relationship is rekindled. Can they manage to overcome their past?
The Edge of Desire is a regency romance with a strong element of mystery. Whilst the relationship between the two protagonists is central, the mystery is also important, with many twists and turns, and there is also a strong cast of supporting characters for readers to engage with. An absorbing read.
Author Stephanie Laurens, who hails from Melbourne, has written numerous Regency Numerous and the last twenty two have been bestsellers in the USA.
The Edge of Desire, by Stephanie Laurens
Avon Books, 2008
This book can be purchased from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.