Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Robert Hale
Release Date: May 2003
ISBN: 0709065841
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Genre: Regency Romance [Kent, UK]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:

The Virgin & The Unicorn
By Joan Smith 

     Miranda Vale is a guest at Ashmead, the country seat of the Marquis of Hersham. She grew up close friends with younger son Pavel but she saw Rotham, the elder son, as the heartless rake who has romanced across Europe and jilted her elder sister, Trudie, leaving her broken hearted. But Miranda has more to think about during her stay at Ashmead than mere romance; Rotham has come back from his travels with one of France's national treasures, vowing that Napoleon won't use it to gain support in his next campaign. The area appears to be full of French émigrés, and at least one of them is clearly not to be trusted. Can Miranda and Pavel conspire to put things right? Is Rotham the traitor he appears to be?

     Joan Smith is a practiced novelist with over a hundred novels to her credit, and it shows in this effervescent and enjoyable novel. As well as romance, she has woven in mystery, murder and various other plot twists and turns - and set most of it under one roof. The Virgin & The Unicorn manages to avoid many of the aspects that I often find tiresome in romantic fiction, such as the protagonists both behaving badly and misunderstanding each others' actions. Instead, most of the time, we have them working together. This ought to appeal to anyone who likes their romances seasoned with mystery. I found it highly readable.

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