Romancing the Rogue

Barbara Dawson Smith, Author, Olivia Drake, Author
Barbara Dawson Smith, Author, Olivia Drake, Author St. Martin's Press $6.5 (370p) ISBN 978-0-312-97511-1
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Set in Regency England, Smith's follow-up to Seduced by a Scoundrel features Gypsies and aristocracy. The romantic Gypsy hero or heroine is a staple of historical romance, almost a clich , but Smith does well with the often-used device, saving it from over-familiarity by introducing a charming trio of elderly women called The Rosebuds. These three cunning strategists maneuver Vivien Thorne, a reluctant Gypsy beauty (who in reality, as one might suspect, is of noble blood, complete with the requisite birthmark), into a love affair with Lady Lucy Stokeford's widowed grandson, Michael Kenyon, Marquess of Stokeford. Kenyon refuses to have anything to do with what he considers to be lying, thieving Gypsies, although he's immediately smitten by dark-haired, flashing-eyed, full-bodied Vivien--who, of course, steals his heart. It takes a while to get engrossed in the story, but plots and subplots contrive to make this an entertaining novel. Smith's writing is smooth, and her characters lusty and likable. (Sept.)
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