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Book CoverC2’s review of One Week As Lovers by Victoria Dahl
Historical romance released by Zebra 1 Aug 09

Nicholas Cantry, Viscount Lancaster, is known throughout the ton for being good-humored, easygoing and charming. It is common knowledge that he must marry a fortune to save his family from financial disgrace – brought on by previous holders of the title – but he is well-liked and no one faults him for being a fortune hunter. It isn’t always easy to be good-humored and easygoing, though. Especially when one walks in on his fiancee in an extremely compromising position with another man. Ah, faithful reader, Lancaster has hidden depths. Depths he has worked hard to hide and keep hidden.

After arriving home from his less-than-stellar evening, Lancaster receives a letter from the housekeeper of his childhood home. The letter is to inform him that a childhood friend and neighbor, Miss Cynthia Merrithorpe, is dead. Though he hasn’t visited the family estate in years or heard from Cynthia since they were children, some time away from London sounds appealing. Lancaster decides to go and pay his last respects.

Little does our viscount know that last respects are not needed. Cynthia was about to be married off to Lord Richmond to settle her step-father’s debts. Richmond has a horrible reputation. His previous marriages ended with his wives’ mysterious deaths and rumors of all sorts of depravity surround him. Rather than find herself his next victim, Cynthia decides to stage her own death (falling off a cliff into the sea… very dramatic) and run away to start a new life.

Cynthia must stay hidden until she turns 21 and has some control over her life or until she finds the treasure hinted at in an old family journal. With the help of the housekeeper, Cynthia hides at Cantry Manor. Nick’s unexpected arrival puts a crimp in her plans. How does one convince the lord of the manor to depart when he just arrived? Why, make him think his house is haunted, of course. I ask you, faithful reader, does such a ploy ever work? Not so much.

After the mysterious haunting is de-bunked, Cynthia explains her situation to Nick and he agrees to let her stay hidden and offers to help find the treasure – he could use a treasure to help him out of the bind he is in, as well. And so the adventure begins.

Nick and Cynthia are both intrigued and baffled by the changes brought on by growing up. In some ways, each easily sees the childhood friend but some changes are difficult to explain. Nick’s mysterious scar, for example. What happened? How and when did he get it? He says it’s from a burn but is it really? What happened to her sweet childhood friend? How did he become the almost-too-polished person he is now?

Nick is drawn to Cynthia but knows he mustn’t get involved with her. Even if he weren’t betrothed, he is no longer the sweet-natured easygoing boy he was. He has needs she should not be subjected to. But is it his decision alone? Cynthia doesn’t think so…she sees no reason they can’t be lovers while they look for the treasure. But will she convince Nick? Well, the title is One Week as Lovers so I suppose you know the answer.

But other questions remain – will the treasure be found? Will Cynthia escape Richmond’s evil clutches? What happened to Nick? Where did he get the scar? What about his betrothed back in London? For those answers and more – like snappy dialogue and sweetly hot romance, tortured heroes and spunky heroines – check out the latest entry in Dahl’s Regency series.

csquareds-icon.jpgGrade: B+

Some Pleasures, Once Tasted…
Even after finding his betrothed in the arms of another man, Nicholas, the Viscount Lancaster, knows he must wed. Propriety—and the dire state of his finances—decrees it. At least a visit to his country estate provides relief from playing the role of loving fiancé, as well as a surprising encounter with Cynthia Merrithorpe. Once his childhood companion, Cynthia has grown into a lovely, alluring woman—one who’s undertaken a daring ruse to avoid being sold into a miserable marriage.
Are Too Delicious To Forget…
When Nicholas left for London to assume his new title, Cynthia was forced to put aside her girlish infatuation. Now he’s returned, more wickedly attractive than ever. And this time, Cynthia is determined to experience the pleasure she’s dreamed of for so long. But with a man like Nicholas, seduction is only the beginning of a sensual journey that will tempt them both to defy convention, and uncover the very heart of desire…
Excerpt not available at the time the review was written.

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