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on 20 May 2007
"One Forbidden Evening" is the first book that I've read by Jo Goodman and what a pleasant surprise it turned out to be! The quality of writing in the dialogue between hero (The Earl of Ferrin) and heroine (the widowed Mrs Caldwell) throughout the story is excellent; hero and heroine are absolute matches for each other in intelligence, witticisms, dialogue, and this comes across throughout the book. Sparks fly between these two characters, and believably so - the reader believes they are well matched because it's proven in the writing, not just because we're told so.

Cybelline Caldwell is a widow with a two-year-old daughter Anna but she has a lot of problems. Her husband committed suicide and since that event she's been receiving threatening letters from a mystery woman. Her second problem is that her sleep is often disturbed by strange, seductive dreams about a man who isn't her husband. When she discovers that her dreams seem to be about the Earl of Ferrin, a well-known rake, she decides to deal with them by seducing him for one night to get him out of her system, so to speak.

This sounds a bit tacky but actually when the events are taking place in the book it doesn't seem like that. The seduction takes place at a Masquerade ball so he doesn't know who she is but she soon finds that there are consequences beyond that evening and that perhaps the Earl isn't quite what he seemed. When she escapes London, in the hope of escaping the nasty letters, the Earl follows and they find that their lives start to entwine.

Although the actual plot of this book isn't all that complex the characterisation and dialogue are so meaty that the book is a very gripping and fascinating read. There's a fair bit of sex in this book but there's also a great deal of other interactions between the characters as they learn to trust each other and to share secrets. The hero in this book is just the sort of man that a romantic hero should be and the heroine is an intelligent woman it's easy to like.

The plot twist, such as it was, was one that I did see coming before the end of the book but it was still a very satisfying read and has encouraged me to read some other works by Jo Goodman, one of which I think features Cybelline's brother. The author's historical accuracy is very good in this book (although the odd stray American sentence slips in) and the setting works well for her tale. For those who don't mind a bit more earthiness and intimacy in their Regencies this is a very good choice.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, [...] © Helen Hancox 2007
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on 3 February 2011
I didn't expect much from this; Regency romances written by Americans tend not to be terribly good. But this is a very entertaining story and the two main characters are worth spending time with. Jo Goodman seems to have a fairly good sense of period and location; only the rather odd names of characters and places let her down. There are clues about the twist, so it might not be that much of a surprise. I shall definitely be reading more of her books in future.
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on 10 December 2010
Like other reviewers, this was the first time I had read a book by Jo Goodman. I really enjoyed it.

The story does not really follow the set "romance" format but had a neat little twist in it towards the end. I found myself wanted to read on and on to find out what would happen, not only to the two main characters (Ferrin and Cybelline) but also other characters in the book.

If you want an engrossing romance with depth and interest then I recommend you give this a go.

I have just begun reading "If His Kiss Is Wicked" which has the stepbrother of Ferrin, Restell as the main character.
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on 19 April 2011
After surrendering to an anonymous passionate encounter with Ferrin, Cybelline tries to continue with her life and removes herself from London and out into the countryside, but what she doesn't count on him actually working out who she is and following her. Soon passion flares between the pair again and they can't resist each other. But danger lurks in the background and Ferrin tries his to protect her and her family.

This was a good story but not as good as other historical's I have read. In some parts I found it hard to follow and work out what is happening. The passionate scenes are really good and help the story along.

Cybelline seems slightly weak to me at the beginning of the story but grows stronger towards the end and I think that might be with the help of Ferrin who seems to push her to make her happy again.

Overall a good book to read with a bit of mystery.
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on 21 December 2014
A well told story with an unusual heroine and engaging Hero. I liked the plot twists, even though I had figured out the identity of the villains. Jo Goodman is a good writer with consistent credible characters and storylines.
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on 5 April 2012
Yes, as the other reviewers have said this is a very interesting read. Although for some reason it did seem to me to drag on a bit, I did find it quite enjoyable.
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on 11 February 2008
This one was also my first by Mrs Goodman, and it certainly won't be the last...
Very well writen!
Maria
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