Lavender & Lace

Delia Parr, Author St. Martin's Press $5.99 (358p) ISBN 978-0-312-95926-5
The pleasures of the flesh are sinful. That's what Sister JoHannah Sims has been taught growing up in her 19th-century Shaker village of Collier, N.H. JoHannah intends to embrace a celibate life with her devout sisters and brethren until her evil guardian--a mustache twirler, if there ever was one--drags her back out into the evil world. He plans to sell JoHannah in marriage to the highest bidder, but his plans are thwarted when a kindly judge sends her, instead, to nurse his injured nephew, Michael Lawne, back to health. Michael, who heretofore has only known the love of loose women, adjusts to the ""cross of the flesh"" he bears courting ""an innocent."" Parr (The Fire in Autumn) has done some good research into 19th-century Shaker life, but her virtuous agenda is trivialized by flaming melodrama and two-dimensional bad guys. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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