Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Love In Disguise - Edith Layton

After having read the second in this trilogy thinking it was the first I just had to pick this one up and see what I had missed. I'm starting to think Layton used these books to stretch some boundaries. In the other book we had a hero who had been king of the underworld and in this one we have a heroine who comes from trade being disputed by 2 gentlemen. Once more it's all about the hero!

Miss Susannah Logan felt very fortunate to have not one but two gentlemen shepherding her through her first London season.

One was the cynical and brilliant Mr. Warwick Jones, whose wit and wealth gave him free entry into society and whose pretended scorn for women was matched only by the sensual intensity of his passion for them.

The other was the handsome and honourable Julian, Viscount Hazelton, whose fierce desire for an unobtainable beauty had led him to financial ruin but could not mar his irresistible, godlike good looks.

Warwick Jones and Julian were good friends until they took the inexperienced Miss Logan in hand...each leading her on a different path of love and passion toward a decision that threatened to intoxicate her flesh...and yield her ripe innocence to the one man whose tantalizing nearness she could no longer resist.

I can see why I. says Warwick it's her favourite hero of the 3 (even if I'm still partial to Arden). He is powerful and strong, but also sensitive, caring albeit too subtle to demonstrate all that. Julian, Viscount Hazelton is more open and is described as the most attractive man, a blond god of a hero he is totally in love with a woman he can't have. This book is about a love triangle, the back blurb of the book doesn't even allow you to understand who will be the hero. It's plain from the beginning that both Julian and Susannah have some growing up to do but while Susannah needs to understand her feelings better Julian will have some disappointments to deal with. Going in the opposite direction is Warwick who becomes more vulnerable as he falls for Susannah and I think he is the true star of the book. He never changes, is always supportive towards Susannah, is a friend to his friends and tries to protect everyone around him. Susannah's falling in love with him is more about her realising and understanding her feelings than Warwick doing anything to conquer her. There's a lot of introspection especially on Susannah and Warwick's part but I wouldn’t call it a slow book as there a little mystery added and even a villain to bring some excitement.

There were some things I found hard to believe like Julian being a Coachman because he was penniless, Susannah living in the same house as 2 gentleman she was not related to (even if with a chaperone), and Lady Marianna Moredon who kept being called Lady Moredon ! But in the end that did not detract from my enjoyment of the book.

Grade: B

Note: Terrible cover and totally wrong for the story told in the book.

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