by Stephanie Laurens
On a Wicked Dawn
Avon, May, 2002.
Paperback, 421 pages.
Lucien Ashford has finally righted his family's finances, after years of near-penury caused by his profligate father. When he returns to his London townhome after a night of celebration, he finds his old friend Amelia Cynster on his doorstep. Amelia is quite wealthy and has always been in love with Lucien. She has found out about his family's difficult circumstances, and sees her chance. She offers to marry him, and to bail him out financially. She also agrees to a marriage of convenience -- no love is necessary. Lucien decides to take her up on her offer, realizing that he's always cared for Amelia. But he doesn't tell her that he doesn't need her money. Instead, he determines that she will fall in love with him. They agree to publicly court for four weeks to avoid a scandal, and then to wed. Because the couple is working at cross purposes, their courtship is quite funny. Lucien and Amelia both strive to get the other to admit that he/she is really in love, and not just interested in a marriage of convenience, and they both decide to use seduction as a way to force the issue. Which of these two hardheaded people will crack first under the pressure? And what kind of fireworks will ensue when the mutual deceptions are revealed?
On a Wicked Dawn is wicked good fun. Amelia, twin of Amanda whose story was detailed in On a Wild Night, is supposed to be the logical one in the family and her determination to snag the man she loves under cover of society's rules provides for some very entertaining reading. Lucien is just as strong-willed, and he also has an appealing sense of humor. With steamy love scenes and quick-witted dialogue, this is another welcome entry in the popular Cynster series.
On a Wicked Dawn is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the July-August, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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