Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: May 2003
ISBN: 0373292554
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre: Historical Romance [Northamptonshire, England, 1818]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Suzie Housley
Reviewer Notes: Explicit content - a very memorable love scene, one that will tug at the reader's heart.

Beauty and the Baron
By Deborah Hale 

She brought light into his darkened existence . . .

     Lord Lucius Daventry had returned from war bearing scars that will forever be a constant reminder of what he had suffered in the Napoleon War. He once had been known as a handsome carefree dandy who had broken countless hearts in his pursuit of love and adventure. Now he lives the life of a recluse, for he refuses to allow anyone to come close enough to view the horrors of what the war had left of his ravaged face. His life is cloaked in darkness and secrecy, his nightly adventures has made him the talk of the local townsfolk gossip. They gave him the nickname of "Lord Lucifier", for they were convinced these ventures were of a sinister nature. When Lucius learns his beloved grandfather is dying, he is determined to make his grandfather's last precious days on earth as happy as possible. He devises a plan that will require him to reveal himself by showing up on the doorstep of Angela Lacewood. While he was away at war, Angela and his grandfather had developed a close relationship. He knows it would please his grandfather greatly if he believed the two of them were engaged, and she was soon to become a part of their family. In return for Angela's agreement to go along with the rouse, he offers to pay for her brother's commission to the military. Will she be able to look past his scars and deformities to see a man so deserving of love?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder . . .

     Angela Lacewood had accepted the fact that she was to live her life alone as a spinster. She knew without a proper dowry, she wouldn't be able to entice a proper match with only her charm and beauty. When she receives an unexpected visit from Lucius Daventry she is stunned to hear why he is paying her a visit. His unusual request is for her to pose as his fiancée for the sake of his dying grandfather. She finds herself torn between deceiving a man that she has grown to care for and respect. Reluctantly, she agrees to pretend to be engaged to Lucius. As each day passes, she finds a growing love that is quickly developing among herself and Lucius. Will she be able to erase the haunting memories that hold Lucius prisoner and replace them with the happy times they are sharing? Or is she setting herself up for heartbreak-for at the death of his grandfather, he has sworn to release her and help her find someone worthy of her love and devotion.

     Beauty and the Baron is by far the best romance book I have read in 2003. Ms. Hale does an outstanding job in capturing her readers emotions. I found my heart being torn into shreds as I read the highly emotional love scene, the dramatic conclusion was the material that only top rate movies can produce. This book is a definite keeper; I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a romance that will stay with you for a long time to come. I plan on rereading this one for many years to come, for it is an emotional roller coaster worthy of the highest rating ever bestowed upon any book.

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