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20 January 2012

One Week as Lovers

One Week as Lovers by Victoria Dahl continues the story of Viscount Lancaster who was introduced in A Rake's Guide to Pleasure of the Huntington series.

Nicholas Cantry is Viscount Lancaster - who inherited a title with a lot of debt. He must marry a woman with a large income if his family is to keep living within their class. Now Lancaster is engaged to a woman he does not love. On the same evening that he finds her in the arms of another man, he gets a letter saying that an old friend has died. Nick decides to visit Cantry House, the home the he grew up in located in Yorkshire, and pay his respects.

Cynthia Merrithorpe technically grew up in the manor down the road from Cantry House. But, in fact, she spent most of her time with her best friend Nick - until he inherited and moved to London. When her family's debt go bad enough, her step-father offered her in marriage to pay that debt. However, the man she was to be married to was a cruel man and Cynthia decided to jump off of the cliff instead. The housekeeper of Cantry House saw her jump.

What she did not see was that Cynthia landed on a ledge a few feet below. She has no desire to die. And she is in possession of her uncle's journal that says he hid treasure in one of the caves along the cliffs. With Cantry's housekeeper as her only confidant, Cynthia is living in the hidden passages and the attack of Cantry House and searching the cliffs for treasure that can buy her freedom (and that of her younger sister as well).

When Nick arrives home - partly as an excuse to flee London and the marriage he needs but does not want - and partly to remember his childhood friend, he interferes with Cynthia's plans. And her attempts to break into his room at night and scare him off do not go exactly as intended.

Victoria Dahl has quickly become my favorite romance writer. She can craft a great story with compelling, likable characters and her romance could thaw glaciers. If you are not a romance reader due to the horrible stereotypes of the genre, pick up a Dahl novel and prepare to have your mind changed. Her contemporary novels and her historical novels (in spite of the titles) are equally wonderful.

Dahl, Victoria. (2009). One Week as Lovers. New York: Zebra.

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