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ONCE HE LOVES
Genre: Historical Romance
This medieval offers welcome spark of innovation. The heroine isn't set on preserving her lands, nor in gaining or guarding her threatened independence. Due to her father's treason against the king, she and her two sisters have already lost their favored place in society.
Now Briar, daughter of Lord Kenton, entertains for a living and fiercely plots revenge. Because the seduction of his wife destroyed her father, Briar plans the callous seduction of the man she believes responsible, to be followed by betrayal of his infidelity to his wife. Lord Radulf, however, misses his beloved wife, Lily, so much that he sends one of his knights in his place.
Briar enchants this knight she thinks is Radulf with her singing, then spends a night of incredible passion with the target of her revenge. In the morning her plotting backfires after the discovery that she's chosen the wrong man, Ivo de Vessey, a disgraced knight.
Neither can forget their night together, but both have dark secrets and strong reasons for resisting love. Their irresistible passion becomes love even as they resist; love defeats revenge, overcoming the past to win the future.
The era comes unforgettably to life under Sara Bennett's descriptive pen. Briar's sisters provide additional interest, and the story untangles the past injustice for a believable ending. SENSUAL (Apr., 384 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed By: Gerry Benninger
Published: April 2003