From Publishers Weekly
Joyce's seventh de Warenne novel is another first-rate Regency, featuring multidimensional protagonists and sweeping drama. Six months after the death of her father, Lady Blanche Harrington must seek a husband to help manage her vast fortunes. It's an unfortunate but necessary duty for the chilly Blanche, who's carefully controlled all emotions since the death of her mother two decades earlier. As Blanche travels to her late father's estate in Cornwall, she makes an ill-timed appearance at the home of a former suitor's brother, Sir Rex de Warenne, catching him in a compromising (but strangely enticing) position with the maid. The attraction between the self-loathing Rex and self-denying Blanche is vivid and believable, developing gradually under the watch of Rex's bitter former lover. When Blanche's repressed memories of her mother's death begin to resurface, a tumultuous chain of events threatens the couple's love and possibly Blanche's life. Entirely fluff-free, Joyce's tight plot and vivid cast combine for a romance that's just about perfect. (Aug.)
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Joyce continues her alluring deWarenne Dynasty series (A Lady at Last, 2006) with the story of Rex deWarenne, a virtual recluse at his estate in Cornwall after losing a leg in the Napoleonic Wars. After her father's death, Blanche knows she must get married, but she believes she is damaged. She has no strong feelings, and, while she appears peaceful and serene, she is dismayed by her indifference to the suitors lined up at her door. Her friend suggests a trip to Cornwall, suspecting that Blanche is denying her interest in the one man who needs to marry an heiress but hasn't shown up to ask for her hand: Rex deWarenne. Although his dark, brooding nature would alarm most ladies, he brings Blanche's feelings to life. But with an open heart comes long suppressed memories of a traumatic event. Blanche soon thinks she's going mad. Truly a stirring story with wonderfully etched characters, Joyce's latest is Regency romance at its best. Hatton, Maria