Lady Jessica Carville wants nothing to do with men after having her heart betrayed. Despite society's disapproval, she has found fulfillment and success as a dealer of rare antiquities for Christie's auction house in London. The last thing she needs is for the scoundrel who once cast her aside to rear his handsome head.
Despite her best efforts, Lord Hugo Duran's sudden return from India piques Jessica's curiosity--as does his tempting offer. He needs her expertise on a quest to locate a priceless artifact that is rumored to have been smuggled into England--a quest full of daring adventure, dangerous intrigue, and unbridled passion.
I had a hard time reading this story, I was curious about reading Kerstan in full length format but now I think I'll stick to trads only.
This is a sort of adventure story. The hero, Duran, was imprisoned in India and to postpone a death sentence is sent to England to look for a statue important to those who imprisoned him. He comes accompanied by an Indian assassin that made me think of some of Salgari's characters. The story, sadly, wasn't as Salgari's stories...
When Duran arrives in London he looks for Lady Jessica Carville. Six years earlier he had an affair with her, he left her and the country without a word. Now she is an antiques dealer and could be a good help in searching for the statue. I have no idea why Duran would think she would help him after the way he treated her and I was certainly hoping that she wouldn't. The way he treats her once more, like he hasn't hadn't done anything bad to her the last time was pretty annoying. We find out later why he acted that way but by end I was so annoyed with him that I did not find it a good excuse and certainly not to the casual way he treated her on her return.
Duran eventually succeeds to convince her to help him and, as expected they eventually become lovers again. Besides their love story also the search for the icon plays a very important role in the plot, and especially Duran and Jessica's interaction with the Indian assassin that accompanies Duran. In a way he was more interesting than Duran itself. A third element was the story of Jessica's sister Mariah, she was obviously very unhappily married and there's a gentleman who loves her without hope so I wonder if they have their story in another book.
As it was I found the hero unlikeable and uninteresting. I couldn't see what Jessica saw in him so I wasn't all that interested in their HEA. I found the search for the statue boring so it came really close to be a DNF...