In her dazzling new novel, Nicole Jordan tempts readers with a tale of breathless splendor and soul-searing passion. Lovers in paradise . . . He is a brilliant military commander . . . and every woman's temptation. When Max Leighton unexpectedly comes to her golden Mediterranean island, Caro Evers longs to heal his emotional battle scars. But during one glorious night in his arms, she discovers a sensual master whose mere touch drives her to wild abandon.
Jordan's newest Regency-era romance (after Ecstasy) is appropriately set on the fictional Mediterranean island of Cyrene, which is headquarters to the clandestine Guardians of the Sword. Formed in the Dark Ages by legendary British warriors exiled to the island, the "secret society of protectors" now operates with input from Britain's Foreign Office. The first time war hero Max Leighton visits the island, he shares an intimate night with the enigmatic healer Caro Evers. Neither forgets that night, and when their paths cross again a year later after Max agrees to help the Guardians rescue a kidnapped noblewoman they pick up where they left off. Although Max is determined to win Caro's heart, she believes he wouldn't want her if he knew her secret: she's not only a healer but a well-trained Guardian. As the author illustrates time and again, however, Caro isn't immune to Max's charms, and the two fill the pages with love scenes to the point of redundancy. More compelling is their emotional relationship, which plays upon Caro's insecurities and Max's nightmares of war. Although the kidnapping subplot is merely a device to bring Max and Caro together, readers who prefer their romances more sexy than suspenseful and more fantastical than historically accurate will savor this sensual feast. Agent, Karen Solem of Spencerhill. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 27, 2004
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Excerpt from Master of Temptation by Nicole Jordan
London, September 1814
Partially shielded from view by a potted palm, Max Leighton leaned against a marble column and surveyed the crowded ballroom without enthusiasm. After enduring so many years of war, he had returned to England resolved to banish his grim memories by losing himself in the mundane pleasures of civilian life.
But this was not what he had in mind--pursued by countless matchmaking mamas and their nubile young daughters, eager to ensnare him in their nets. In the current craze of victory celebrations, a wealthy, decorated war veteran made an extremely eligible matrimonial prize, Max had learned to his chagrin.
His mouth curled in a wry grimace. He had little appetite for fighting on the battlefield of love, especially when he had no interest in settling down in marriage. But even the more seasoned beauties of the ton were vying for his attention now. Needing a respite from his popularity, he'd escaped the ballroom floor moments ago and sought refuge behind the palm.
If only his cavalry regiment could see him now, Max thought, amused in spite of himself.
But few of his men would be sympathetic to his plight: nestled in the lap of luxury, courted and feted by so many eager females.
What had happened to him? Before his army days, he hadn't considered balls and soirees and garden parties so trivial. But perhaps the genteel challenges of the Beau Monde simply couldn't match the satisfaction of saving Europe from the bloody machinations of a despot.
Or perhaps it was the women themselves who aroused his dissatisfaction. None of them had the honest charms of one woman he'd found impossible to forget.
His gaze narrowing, Max let his mind drift back, as it had countless times since his mission of mercy more than a year ago.
He had never expected to discover a Mediterranean island paradise, or experience an enchanting night of passion with an innocent temptress. He hadn't been able to forget that night on Cyrene or the bewitching woman who had offered him solace.