It's always with anticipation when I begin the newest DeBurgh title, thinking each time that this one cannot possibly be as good as the prequel. Every time, I'm amazed at the creativity and imagination of Deborah Simmons and the way she exceeds my expectations. MY LADY DeBURGH is no exception. This, the latest release in the series, is an absolute delight to read. Robin's story unfolds to treat fans to one more unique personality of the DeBurgh clan.
Robin is one of seven sons born to Campion DeBurgh, and was quite young when his mother died in childbirth. With no female in the household to offer tenderness to the small boy, Robin turned to his older brothers. He loved the rough and tough bachelor home they shared, but suddenly life is changing. Who would believe his drunkard brother Stephen would ever marry, but here is the DeBurgh family --- celebrating his wedding. One by one his brothers are marrying and moving away, and Robin isn't happy to lose their camaraderie. He reasons there is a curse on the family, and heaven help him, he is next in line to be caught up in the spell. He is NOT going to marry; why even the thought makes him feel like his tunic is choking him. It's a very tense warrior who begins a quest to end the curse. Poor Robin; he hasn't a clue of what's in store for him! (I say this with a mischievous grin.)
The trail leads Robin to a sanctuary, and before he can enter, he hears a cry of Help! Murder! He rushes into the abbey to find chaos and a group of nuns circling a body lying prone - obviously dead. Acting as keeper of the closest estate on his brother's behalf, Robin is the coroner who must resolve this murder. When a novice voices suspicion over his appearance at this particular moment, Robin is outraged. But when the slender woman stands to confront him, he senses something else entirely. He recognizes her immediately -- She is `The One'! - He is going to fight this curse all the way. He will NOT marry! - Furthermore, she is a NUN!
Sybil (`The One') was brought to the abbey as a tiny child and has never known the love of a family, or experienced worldly ways. There's a longing that's prevented her from taking vows, and this strong, passionate woman is soon to learn why she will never become a nun. As punishment for her accusation against Robin, the abbess assigns her to work side by side with him to solve this mystery. Hmmm...this is one clever abbess (grin).
MY LADY DeBURGH is a story of rich characters, the pages filled with laughter and sensuality. DeBurgh fans are treated to a fun visit with Simon and Bethia, and all the rest of the family when they gather unexpectedly to show support for Robin. It was my personal pleasure to read and review this novel, but I'm now left with the dilemma of knowing there are only two stories left in the series - the brothers Reynard and Nicholas. Ms. Simmons - I'm ready - anytime you are (grin)!
Carol Carter, As Reviewed for Romance Reviews Today