Book Review

THE RIVAL
by Brenda Joyce

Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: England 1746

1998 BEST HISTORICAL ROMANCE Nominee

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Countess of Ashburn, Lady Olivia Grey, cares little about the rumors circulating regarding Garrick De Vere, Earl of Strathmores past. Gifted with the sight, Olivia senses that Garrick did not kill his brother Lionel 14 years ago.

Like Garrick, Olivia knows what it means to be an outcast. Her gift disturbs her parents, and her husband Arlen despises her for not only being fey, but for giving him a blind daughter, Hannah. Olivia lives a quiet, content life in the country until she is drawn into Garricks world.

By befriending Garricks betrothed, Olivia is thrust into the London social scene, placing her in constant contact with Garrick.

Exiled to Barbados, Garrick returns to London for his betrothal, knowing his dark reputation follows him everywhere. Olivia is a challenge and an obsession to Garrick and he is willing to risk everything to seduce her.

Suddenly, Lionel returns from the dead, and the old rivalry between the brothers resurfaces, but there are new dimensions to the conflict.

Fabulous dark Gothic overtones, complex plotting and intricately drawn characters blend perfectly with deep sensuality and intense emotions to carry this masterful romance forward. Readers are enticed into this passionate tale of forbidden love, old secrets, dark obsessions and the triumph of all things good through Ms. Joyces brilliant plotting and accomplished characterization. Another stunning achievement from a writer of depth, emotion and remarkable talent. SENSUAL (Aug., 436 pp., $6.50)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Published: August 1998

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4.5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
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