Sunday, August 19, 2007
A Woman Scorned - Liz Carlyle
It's been a while since I've read the other books in this series, somehow this book just escaped me at the time and it was recently that I realised I hadn't read. Since I'm a Carlyle fan I decided to pick it up asap!
Jonet Rowland, the Marchioness of Mercer is lovely, rich, and—it is rumored—an unrepentant adulteress. And when her philandering husband is murdered in his own bed, it's whispered that Jonet is a femme fatale in more ways than one. It will take a dashing and honorable soldier to get Jonet out of this one.
When his scheming uncle begs Captain Cole Amherst to investigate the death of his brother, Lord Mercer, Cole flatly refuses. But it is soon apparent that treachery stalks Lady Mercer’s two innocent children. A man of God and a scholar, Cole reluctantly plunges into the viper’s pit that is Jonet Rowland’s life, and finds that nothing could have prepared him for the lust she inspires...or the danger which surrounds them.
Jonet, the Marchioness of Mercer was once the toast of the ton but is now an outsider that most believe poisoned her husband. Cole Amherst is asked by his uncle, Jonet's brother in law, to go and work as a tutor to Jonet's sons so he can be aware of what is going on in that house. Wary at first he soon realises that someone is threatening them and that Jonet has been leaving with that fear for quite a while.
I really enjoyed reading Cole and Jonet's story. I think I liked Cole more in the beginning but it's also true that we know more about him and his thoughts than about Jonet. Jonet is more complex and tortured and guards some secrets. They are both very attracted from the start but there's a lot of distrust between them and the tension slowly builds up. Besides Cole not knowing if Jonet killed her husband and Jonet's conviction that Cole came to spy on her there are also the moral issues that Cole has to deal with since he is a Curate and the fact that Jonet has a more powerful position in society. The distrust between them goes on for most of the book even after they give in to temptation and make love. I really enjoyed reading how they solve that and decide to be together despite their different backgrounds and personalities. Cole is a wonderful hero in the sense that he is an intelligent, sensible and loving man who tries to be honest with his feelings.
There's a mystery subplot about who really killed Jonet's first husband and who is trying to kill her and her children. Although I had an immediately idea of the bad guy I wasn't really sure it was who I thought because I couldn't see the motive. Fortunately this works more to help with Jonet and Cole's relationship than to create a true mystery that might detract from the story.