This time out, I have a reprint of a classic historical romance that hit bookstores this month: Mary Balogh's The Devil's Web (Dell). James Purnell's return to England from years in Canada wakens all sorts of things in Madeline Raine, who once loved him to distraction, and almost to ruin. Now, however, she can restrain herself. Perhaps. James is one of those brooding, dark heroes that romance readers fall in love with, so it's no wonder Madeline can't help falling for him all over again. James has no intention of staying, but his plans are changed for him by fate. Nor can he stop his own feelings for Madeline from returning, which leads to one fateful night that will change the rest of their lives. Like many men, past and present both, James has issues with revealing his emotions, and he has more difficulty with Madeline, because she matters so much. So he keeps his emotions to himself, which stops any hope she had of making their sudden marriage work. Between that and secrets he has kept from his past--and which someone has kept from him--there's just no way this can work, no matter how they feel about one another. Ha! This is a romance novel, of course there's a way to make it work, and Mary Balogh is a master at making such difficult stories come together in ways that readers have no trouble believing, making the reader's heart break along with Madeline's and James's, and then the reader rejoices right along with them when they finally work out their differences. It's a fantastic story, but that's what a reader expects when they pick up a book with the name Balogh on the spine. This one's earned four of Cupid's five arrows. A definite keeper, and great for readers who've only recently discovered Ms. Balogh to add to their collection.
Until next time, happy reading!