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
From Publishers Weekly
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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