Wednesday, 29 February 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #342
Deceived - Sara Craven
Reissue - Harlequin Treasury, 2011
From the back cover:
"The prodigal lover...
Lydie had grown up too close to Marius Benedict to remain immune to her stepcousin's fatal charm. But Marius had merely seduced and abandoned her, leaving town under a cloud of scandal. Five long years and, no doubt, a dozen meaningless affairs later, Marius had walked back into her life, looking for all the world as if he owned it! The trouble was, he did.
As far as Marius was concerned, it was Lydie who was the deceiver. He had been away a long time—just long enough to have planned his revenge on Lydie Benedict down to the first quiver of her lips....
Forbidden!—when passion knows no reason..."
This is another book from the Harlequin Treasury line, since it is a Sara Craven I couldn't resist!
The heroine Lydie is stunned when the hero Marius turns up after five years away, she had given up hope of ever seeing him again after he had left in the wake of scandal, breaking Lydie's heart in the process. She knows that Marius is back to claim his rightful place as his uncle's (Lydie's stepfather) heir, and she tries to avoid him. But Marius doesn't give her the chance and she realises that he has also come back to get revenge on her - for something she didn't do. Lydie is devastated when she discovers that her avaricious mother is solely responsible for everything that happened five years ago, but knows Marius will never believe her. Marius tells her that they will be married, purely for convenience and pleasure, and Lydie doesn't know what else to do other than go along with it. It is clear that the passion and desire between them is still there, but Marius's dislike of her breaks Lydie's heart more and more.
This is very typical of a lot of Sara Craven's books (in fact her most recent book 'The End of Her Innocence' is very similar in plot to this one) but as usual from this author it is solid and well written. It is a little info dumpy at the beginning and on occasions the writing is a little old fashioned - I do wish she wouldn't use "on the contrary" so often - but it works, and is pleasant to read.
There is plenty of mystery and chemistry between the hero and heroine that kept me reading. However, I feel the heroine lost her way as bit as the story progressed and she came across as a bit of a martyr. This book would be greatly improved by including the hero's POV but, hey, you can't have it all!
This is very much a 'classic' style romance, but very enjoyable.