Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Madame’s Deception by Renee Bernard

Title: Madame’s Deception
Author: Renee Bernard

Publisher: Pocket Books
Type: Historical Romance
Series: Second in her Mistress Trilogy

Why: I loved A Lady’s Pleasure, the first in this trilogy.


Seeking revenge, she discovers how delicious a case of mistaken identity can be....

Merriam Everett has always been regarded as a shy, docile creature. But for one night, Merriam the Mouse has become a temptress who will recklessly take her pleasure with the arrogant earl who once slighted her, and then leave him aching with lust. A fine plan, if Merriam had not just seduced the wrong rogue!

Drake Sotherton left England amid dark speculation and has returned to seek vengeance against Julian Clay, the man he believes murdered his wife. Convinced that the masked beauty who seduced him is Julian's pawn, Drake tracks her down and proposes that she become his mistress for the Season. Every sensual desire, every secret longing will be explored...and fulfilled.

Comments: This will be one of those rare occurrences where I have to go out and buy the book for my keeper shelf. It was that good.

Bernard, like the handful of others on my keeper shelf, devotes her pen to characterization. She puts readers in the company of her romantic couple for much of the book, in scenes that are long and unhurried. There is banter and play, sharing and insight, and enough physical exploration to steam the windows. All behind a door that locks them away from the outside world. And while Bernard does include passages of internal thought on the impossibility of their love, she does so sparingly, choosing instead to show readers their pain, their hope through gestures, intense, desperate lovemaking and emotionally-wrought silences. It’s beautiful and heart wrenching, a sensory experience for the reader.

There are external forces of course: secondary characters there to support Jocelyn and Alex, a murder mystery and the unavoidable role or implication of society rules. Bernard weaves all however, into a coherent, well-balanced story with Jocelyn and Alex at center stage. You never take your eyes off of them.

Clean voice, emotional depth, eroticism, gorgeous covers. Keeper shelf.

To Save You Some Time: A Rogue’s Game is due out April, 2008.

1 comment:

  1. KEEPER SHELF!!! Woman you're ruining me with all these books you love that I feel obligated to go buy. sigh Oh well, if we don't support the good writers, they won't get more stories published. Sooo, it's off to Amazon I go. heh heh


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