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Once Tempted (Avon Historical Romance) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Jul 2001
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"Boyle makes an indelible mark on the genre". -- Romantic Times
"A master storyteller."-- Christina Dodd
From the Back Cover
Only a dashing rogue can help Olivia clear her sullied name...yet one kiss reminds her that a lady, once tempted, never forgets.
A notorious rake, the Marquis of Bradstone stole young Olivia Sutton's heart...and then ruined her life. For seven years she has been forced to hide her past behind a false identity. And now the dashing scoundrel has returned a different man: more handsome, more serious, more desirable...and far more dangerous than the cad who brought scandal and shame into Olivia's world.
Major Robert Danvers is living a lie -- but for a noble cause. Masquerading as his cousin, the late marquis, Robert's secret mission for the crown has led him straight to the beautiful, scheming seductress he believes was responsible for his brother's death. But there is a gentle innocence about this Olivia that belies her murderous reputation -- and a passionate sensuality that makes him yearn to hold her forever in his arms. His loyalty to his mission tells him that surrender would be the worst sort of betrayal -- yet once tempted, how can a man resist, when his heart tells him here is his one true love?See all Product description
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Seven years later, the treacherous marquis that everyone thought dead is back, and Olivia returns for her revenge. But for some reason, she can't pull the trigger, and instead becomes HIS prisoner. It doesn't take her long to learn that he isn't the man who wronged her at all, but his look-alike cousin, an aide to Wellington himself, who has been ordered to masquerade as the marquis in order to flush out the murderess of the young Spaniard--his beloved brother--who also has the key to a centuries-old treasure that everyone wants desperately, especially the French.
Although she starts out as a silly seventeen-year-old easily deceived by a false lover, Olivia has grown and matured into a strong, independent woman who can face danger calmly and courageously. Robert Danvers steels himself against her charm, believing her responsible for his brother's death. And Olivia discovers that this man's physical resemblance to his evil cousin masks an honorable soul, truly worthy of her devotion. But will he ever really trust her?
This book is one of the better ones I've read recently. Oh, I got a little impatient at the length of time it took Robert to get over his suspicions of Olivia's character, and the treasure hunt was a little unbelievable, but these are minor detractions to the love story between these two courageous lovers. I also enjoyed the character of the all-knowing Mrs. Finch, who doesn't hesitate to give everyone advice on just about everything.
So if you're looking for a typical swooning Regency heroine, look elsewhere. This one has more to worry about than being considered a bluestocking; she proves herself more than capable of dealing with whatever challenges come her way. And for his part, Robert turns out to be a truly worthy hero. Enjoy!