Friday, January 17, 2014

Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton


. . . or is it? The risqué painting owned by Benjamin Elliot, the earl of Foxburn, features a stunning beauty with sapphire eyes, golden hair, and creamy skin. Ben recognizes this particular English rose the instant he meets her-though she's wearing considerably more clothing. In person, the demure debutante is even more irresistible . . .

In desperate need of money for her sick mother, Daphne Honeycote had posed for two scandalous portraits. Now she must hide her secret to save the Honeycote family name. Ben's possession of one painting makes him an insufferable thorn in her side-and yet he may be her best chance at finding the canvas's companion. As she becomes drawn to the dark-tempered earl, can Daphne risk laying bare the secrets of her heart?

This was a surprisingly enjoyable Regency romance, one with an original plot (which is sometimes hard to come by in the genre). Daphne is a delightful heroine- a caring person who made a deliberate and shocking choice in order to save her mother's life. Ben is a tortured hero- one carrying the weight of a dead friend on his shoulders and determined to save that friend's brother from Daphne's snares. Of course, he gradually comes to realize that Daphne is not setting snares and is in fact a lovely person he needs to help. This was a great story that I found hard to put down, and I will certainly look for other entries in the series.

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