I adore the Harlequin Historical Undone line, but I have this annoying habit of hording the short stories on my Sony Reader. Which would be the half-ass excuse I have for just now reading this prequel to the multi-author Harlequin Historical Silk & Scandal series almost one year after it’s release date. Well, better late than never I suppose!
When Emma Hammond’s husband dies she’s relegated to the status of poor relation in her uncle’s household. Dear Uncle has plans to wash his hands of her by foisting her off into an arranged marriage with one of his “yes men.” Emma doesn’t see a way out until a darkly handsome Gypsy comes calling.
Chal Pannell arrives on the scene to claim a young gypsy boy that Emma’s cousin-in-law took from his tribe. However the boy is no longer there, and instead Chal finds Emma – a woman he is immediately drawn to. For her part, Emma sees her way out. She’ll provide Chal with information to help him locate the boy – and in return, he takes her with him.
As a prequel to the Silk & Scandal series this story works quite well. It lays the groundwork, gives readers a glimpse into the “scandal,” and sets the fallout in motion. As a stand-alone short story it has some problems. The time table for the romance is very short (as in, a couple of days), and while the Georgian era is drawn well, I had some nagging issues. Namely, I have a hard time picturing Chal debauching Emma in the gardens while she’s wearing Georgian clothing. Also, while the author does sell it fairly well, it’s still a bit problematic to think of an English lady taking to the Gypsy lifestyle so effortlessly. But the story is interesting, Chal is tall, dark and handsome, and there are plenty of sexy-times to be had.
All in all, not a terrible way to spend some pre-bedtime reading. It certainly did the job of peaking my interest in the Silk & Scandal series, of which I have several in my TBR.
Widow Emma Hammond had reluctantly accepted her place as a poor relation to be given away in an arranged marriage. She didn’t think she could escape her fate—until she meets gypsy Chal Pannell. Even though he vows revenge against her family for taking a gypsy boy from his tribe, he awakens Emma’s passionate fantasies…and a risqué tryst in the woods proves he desires her just as strongly! When the boy goes missing, Emma and the wild stranger set off to recover him as unlikely allies—and uninhibited lovers….
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