Gypsy curses and forbidden passion fill the air in Samantha James's tale of Olivia Sherwood--impoverished daughter of the local vicar, and her employer, Dominic St. Bride--the Earl of Ravenwood, bastard son of the old earl and his beautiful gypsy lover. St. Bride has lived on the fringes of respectability all his life and has grown accustomed to being greeted with hostility and suspicion, but his shadowy past fascinates and lures the innocent Olivia much against her will. Forced from her home after a rogue gypsy murders her father and causes her sister tragically to lose her eyesight, Olivia endeavors desperately just to provide a home for her sister and enough food on the table. When Dominic offers Olivia much-needed additional wages to act as his secretary, she finds herself sharing very close quarters with the man whose innate decency helps her forget the circumstances of her father's death and whose smoldering sensuality threatens to make Olivia forget herself. And Dominic, who has spent his life on the outside looking in, finds himself tempted to believe in the kind of love he thought nonexistent. He has Olivia to thank for this, with her impassioned defense of him to the citizens of Stonebridge and her fiery response to his caresses. Bestselling author Samantha James inspires empathy and intense emotion for these two souls desperately searching for something in which to believe. --Alison Trinkle
James's newest is a nicely written, unabashedly old-fashioned Regency with strong dollops of sensuality, achieving a higher standard than her previous book (Every Wish Fulfilled). Olivia Sherwood, an impoverished vicar's daughter, is forced to go into service at Ravenwood Hall after her father's death makes her the sole source of support for her blind sister, Emily. The dark and dangerous Gypsy Earl, Dominic St. Bride, who has recently arrived to claim his birthright and ingratiate himself with the people of Stonebridge village, falls in lust (which swiftly becomes love) at first sight with the beautiful, russet-haired Olivia. St. Bride, a tormented Heathcliff-like character, is every dedicated genre reader's dream hero, and, although outwardly prim and proper, Olivia is nonetheless a feisty, winning heroine. Nasty anti-Gypsy prejudice threatens both St. Bride and Olivia, but she comes through to save the day (and their lives) in a satisfying climax. A secondary romance between blind Emily and the Gypsy horse trader, Andre, is also well drawn and complements the main story line.
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This is an older Samantha James that I missed the first time around. I enjoyed it very much. A gypsy earl, a poor vicar's daughter with a sister to care for and a prejudiced town -... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Donna F
I first read this book a few years ago and really fell in love with the characters. Picked it up a year or so later and read it again! Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Donna Evansville IN
This is not one of my favorite books. A bit out there that Dominic would be so interested in a maid. Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Ronnie
I liked the story, however, there were some issues I had with the theme of the book.
Emily, Olivia's blind sister, is incredibly shallow. Read more
I picked up this book because I was intrigued by the complications and character that could arise from the hero, Dominic, being half gypsy. Read morePublished on November 16, 2010 by Amazon Customer
Olivia Sherwood has fallen on hard times. Her father was murdered a year before by a gypsy and her sister, who witnessed the murder, has gone blind. Read morePublished on July 21, 2008 by Helen Hancox
This is my second Samantha James book. I didn't know it was a re-issue. This is obviously an early effort. To be honest I found it boring.
******MAY BE SPOILERS BELOW. Read more
This was an enjoyable quick read. I went back and forth with these characters though. I just couldn't understand why the author didn't better explain the heroine's feelings with... Read morePublished on February 11, 2008 by RETSmile
Great premise - a 1/2 gypsy with a difficult past tries to come home to the estate his father never wanted him to have anything to do with. Read morePublished on November 12, 2005 by J. Brennan