Bent on revenge after five years on a prison ship, Sean O'Toole, Earl of Kildare, kidnapped his enemy's daughter. Her name was Emerald, an innocent beauty he had known long ago, who had stirred his senses like no other woman. But now he planned to seduce her, abandon her...and bring disgrace to the Montagues. First he would restore the fire to her eyes, make her hunger for his steely embrace -- then use her in an act of vengeance. But Sean didn't expect to find himself caught in the sudden heat of his own desires, bewitched by the magnificent beauty he'd planned to betray...
From the moment smoke-haired Emerald FitzGerald Montague first gazes into the pewter eyes of Sean FitzGerald O'Toole, she wants him. He is the dreamed-of dark prince who will spirit her away from the Wales of her venal father, William, to the Ireland of her beautiful, debased mother, Amber. Sean wants Emerald, too, but there's a wee problem: Amber is trysting with Sean's older brother, Joseph, and when William learns of the affair, it's the end of the precarious money-making alliance between the Montagues and the FitzGerald O'Toole clan. Issues of honor and vengeance, confounded by 18th-century Anglo-Irish politics, motivate the men's every action here. When Joseph dies at William's order, Sean's desire for vengeance consumes him. Like the Count of Monte Cristo, he steels himself in body and mind, believing he can do anything to destroy William, even use Emerald, whose love he has not forgotten-but in Henley's universe, love may conquer all. Making her hardcover debut, Henley (Enticed) excoriates the British and celebrates the Irish, especially in bed. The sadism of the former and the tender genius of the latter are drawn in loving detail, down to shrieking climaxes. Some characters are inconsistent, notably Emerald's brother, as suits the tale, and all the women are saintly bawds; but the pace is brisk and the passions are huge. Author tour. (Feb.)
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1 . Great Read!
Posted May 09, 2010 by Jennifer , Hanscom AFBOne of Virginia Henley's greatest books! You feel for this poor couple but as always things go the way they should in the end.
July 05, 1997
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Excerpt from Dream Lover by Virginia Henley
At last Sean came to retrieve Emerald from her dancing partner and indicated that he was ready to leave. When they reached the ballroom doors, she turned to survey the crowded floor. Then very deliberatly she removed the velvet mask and tossed it in the air. A group of men standing nearby eagerly scrambled for it. With a grim look on his dark face and a firm hand at the small of her back, Sean pushed her through the doorway. His brow lowered and his jaw clenched as he retrieved her cloak and wrapped it firmly about her naked shoulders and half-exposed breasts. "What the hell was that all about?" he demanded as they emerged from the palatial house on Piccadilly. "You were acting like a little whore," he ground out. "But, Sean, darling, that's exactly what I am," she said sweetly, "your whore. And you have made sure all London knows what I am." "Get in the carriage." His tone warned her just how furious he was. Emerald ignored the warning. "Would you like me on my hands and knees, my lord, so I can service you here in the carriage?" He gripped her shoulders and shook her till her teeth rattled. "Stop it this instant. You are driving me to violence." "I am aware of your violent nature, my lord. Perhaps I can match it! Come on, I'm licking my lips over you," she taunted. He forced her down on the seat and crushed her mouth with his, mastering her. Only Emerald wouldn't be mastered, not without giving as good as she got. She bit down on his lip and raked the side of his face with her nails. He flung away from her. "Little bitch!" he cursed. As she had promised, she licked her lips over him and tasted his blood. They entered the Mayfair house in silence. Emerald ran up two flights to their spacious bedchamber. She dismissed the maid who has waited up for her. Her anger at him did not cool, rather it grew hotter by the minute. She had thought the diamonds, a gift of love; now she knew he wanted to flaunt her and the diamonds in the face of the English. Though the hour was late she decided the evening was not quite over; the fireworks hadn't yet started. Sean lingered in the salon, trying to cool his temper with a snifter of French brandy. By the time he finished it, he felt in full control. He slowly mounted the stairs, and when he entered the bedchamber he was almost ready to forgive her. She deliberately turned her back upon him. He felt his control slip a notch. She had removed the ostrich-feathered wig, but still wore her gown and her diamonds. Completely ignoring him, she unfastened the crimson velvet and stepped out of it. Naked, save for lace stockings and diamonds, she sat down at the dressing table and picked up her hairbrush. Emerald knew his dark eyes were riveted upon her. She bent her head forward, allowing her hair to almost touch the carpet, she brushed it vigorously, then tossed it back so that it fell in a smoky cloud about her shoulders. With hairbrush still in hand she padded over to the bed with feline grace to retrieve her night rail from beneath the pillow. It was a flame-colored diaphanous garment designed to give a man pleasure. She made no effort to put it on, but took it back to the dressing table with her and draped it across the stool. Then she made a display of admiring herself in the mirror. She tossed her curls and drew the brush through them one more time, then very deliberately she brushed the black curls between her legs. "What the hell game is this you are playing?" he growled. She dropped the hairbrush and with hands on naked hips walked provocatively toward him. "A harlot's game. Isn't that what you want? I was just admiring the diamonds one last time before I give them back." "The diamonds are yours," he ground out. "Oh, I don't think so. They