Monday, July 14, 2008

The Crimson Lady - Mary Reed McCall

Every man in England wanted her...
She was called "the Crimson Lady". But Fiona Byrne wants no part of the notorious life she was compelled to lead, adopting instead the disguise of a simple seamstress. Then she is discovered by Braedan de Cantor, a desperate and daring stranger who threatens to expose her. Never has there been one so dangerous to the peaceful life she'd fought to achieve. But the greatest peril of all lies deep in her heart.

One man would have her...
Robbed of his good name and fortune, and cast among England's criminals, he sought the legendary lady outlaw to save his sister. But the many tales of her extraordinary beauty and cunning did not do the Crimson Lady justice, and Braedan soon finds himself falling under her enchantment , even as he forces Fiona to re-enter the dark world she dreads. And though danger beyond reasoning awaits them, he wil let no harm befall the passionate, incomparable woman who now so completely captivates his heart and his soul... and offers them both a future more magnificent than either dared to imagine.

This is the first in a duet where I managed to read the second book first without realising it till I grabbed this one.

Braedan de cantor looks for Fiona's help because determined to right the wrongs his uncle has done he can see no other option than turn outlaw. Fiona is the perfect woman to tell him a thing or two about his uncles secrets and introduce him to a band of outlaws who will help him in his plans.

Fiona is a very strong woman (McCall seems to do mostly those which is fine by me) but when faced with the only option of going back to the hell she run a away from shakes her a bit. With time she does realise that Brendan is not a bad man, although he had to force her compliance, and even starts to feel attracted to him. However she does believe she is no good or any man after she suffered at Draven's hands. As Brendan is also attracted to her it's only a matter of time till they give in to their passion.

They eventually come face to face with Draven and Fiona ends up being captured and forced to renounce Braedan to save his life. Braedan however is not fooled by her false disdain and realises Draven is behind it which leads to a confrontation where an unexpected turn of events leads to Draven's trial and execution by some of his victims. Although there's still much to be done to right his wrongs Brendan and Fiona have a chance to build a life together without having to look back all the time.

It was a nice and enjoyable story but somehow it lacked a little something to make it truly memorable in my eyes.

Grade: B

(I'm sorry but this morning the review was published without the last half. It is now complete. Apologies to my early visitors)

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