on 8 June 2005
This is much lighter fare than this reader is used to from Madeline Hunter. The novel is smartly paced, brimful of fun and laughter and once again well-researched. However, one misses the intensity and heart of other novels. Ewan, the darkly handsome prince of pleasure, tackles a brand new responsibility. Bride, passionately beautiful and dead set against being a 'responsibility that needs to be tackled' refuses Ewan's assistance in settling her and her sisters. Circumstances force her to review her stand and Ewan snaps up 'the invitation' to spin a leisurely and passionate seduction. Bride, however, has a lot of pressing issues on her mind, the least of them the 'prince of pleasure'. Ewan and Bride are compelled to work together on an assignment, even if the assignment is precisely what is keeping them apart. And so, hampered by trial and error they eventually manage to find the love that their torrid love affair promised. In comparison with other novels of Madeline Hunter, the reader found this story tame. Ewan lacks the forceful presence of "the hero of an historical romance". For example, he does not have the brooding intensity of an Adrian (main protagonist of THE CHARMER) or the dark mystery of a John (main protagonist of THE SEDUCER). It is only much later in the novel that the reader is convinced that there IS more to Ewan than the 'lord of sin'-appellation. Bride comes across as brittle and self-absorbed and does not seem to have the compassion and vulnerability inherent in the strength and passion of "the heroine of an historical romance" - unless it impacts directly on her sisters. However, this is to the mind of this reader. If one does manage to buy into the characters, the novel should be highly enjoyable. As is, the novel is still much better than many others published in this genre.