A Dangerous Beauty

Sophia Nash
A Dangerous Beauty
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Avon Books
Release Date
June 2007
Book 1 of The Widows' Club
Historical Romance

Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage or by the removal of the patient from the influences under which he incurred the disorder.
The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce

A Courageous Outcast . . .

Rosamunde Baird has lost everything and has no choice but to accept an invitation to spend a season with a dowager duchess and her clandestine ladies club. Determined to stay in the shadows and live quietly, she has sworn never again to come face to face with adventure and temptation, two things that brought her ruin years ago. But then the Duke of Helston dangles before her the very things she craves most . . .

Lord Fire & Ice . . .

Mysterious Luc St. Aubyn has a much-deserved reputation for exuding blistering passion at night and frost the morning after. What demons drive this audacious war hero to hide secrets about the dowager's club and his devilish dictionary? When he's blindsided by his reactions to a virtuous siren, he has no choice but to reveal all during a scandal that will doom them . . . or save them, if only they dare to believe in love.

Book Review by Carole [admin] (author)
Oct 04, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
138 people found the following review helpful
"Exciting historical read, with the right combination of action and romance"

Sophia Nash is a new-to-me author. I first picked up her book, The Kiss (review to come), because I was intrigued with the characters' situation, that of friends becoming lovers. When I learned that it's the second book in the series, I searched out A Dangerous Beauty, the first one.

And I wasn't disappointed.

A Dangerous Beauty is an exciting read, with the right combination of action, romance, angst, humiliation, yearning, betrayal and ostracization.

I like that Luc St. Aubyn, Duke of Helston, recognized his feelings for Rosamunde Baird quite early in the book, but that he was hindered from his declaration by things that he believed are important to Rosamunde but that which he couldn't provide for her. It was his stance that the St. Aubyn family owed Rosamunde quite a bit for the things she had suffered in the 8 years of her nightmarish marriage, so the aforementioned belief coupled with his need to make amends made him think that the best thing he could do for her was to stay away from her. There was also his grandmother's hope for him, which ran contrary to what he wanted. Selfless, yes, but a bit presumptuous of him. The least he could've done was ask. Well, in the end, he did ask, but it was a reflex reaction and Rosamunde did well to reject him.

Actually, they each have their own preconceived notions of what the other wanted. Perhaps if they talked? But I guess the time wasn't ripe then. Still, the last time they made love, the scene was so touching I wanted to cry. It was also told from Luc's point of view, which made it doubly heart-wrenching.

I've never seen a heroine so ostracized and who suffered so much, except for the heroine in Ain't She Sweet? by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, perhaps. So why do I like this? Because it makes my heart ache and break for Rosamunde and when that happens, it's a good thing. I then root for her and am glad to see the comeuppance of those who dealt with her badly. When my bloodthirsty needs are satisfied by the hero, the book leaves me with feel-good sensations.

I'm just a bit surprised that there wasn't more interaction among the widows, but merely superficial conversations. Or maybe, the reason was because Rosamunde came into the club late and hadn't been with them enough time to form the bonds of friendship. She did have a friend though, her younger sister Sylvia, who sacrificed her youth to stay with Rosamunde in an nightmarish marriage. I did find that funny, but I soon forgot about it in the rationale that the sisters were close and Sylvia was a very loyal sister.

I certainly wouldn't mind reading more about Luc and Rosamunde, and I hope they're featured in the rest of the series.
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