By Stephanie Laurens
At 30 Simon is
the last unmarried Cynsters. He is on his way to inspect his newly
inherited estate in Somerset. He will begin a search for a perfect
wife after he delays his trip to support his friend, James Glossup
at a house party at Glossup Hall.
Portia Ashford, at 24, wants
a family and a home of her own, and will explore the possibilities
available for a husband. She knows she must marry to have them.
Her problem is her ignorance about what marriage will encompass.
Simon and Portia have
known each other since they were children. They know each other
well. He has always been protective of her. She has always resented
any curtailment of her independence. She persuades him to instruct
her on the intimacies of marriage. Their exploration is threatened
by the murder of Kitty, wife of Henry Glossup, and several "accidents"
which threaten Portia. Simon must keep Portia safe while they attempt
to find the murderer and clear their friends.
The plot gives the reader
a glimpse of an English country house party with a cast of charming
and some eccentric aristocrats. The action is constant. The dialogue
is minimal, the character development slight. The struggle of Simon
and Portia to come to terms with their true feelings and to commit
themselves is fascinating.
are as many pages of graphic sex as there are pages of plot development.
The love scenes are tender and erotic. This would really be a handbook
for sex techniques. I would have preferred more story and less sex.