Holt plays into fantasies like a virtuoso who strikes chords that are blatantly seductive but with the subtle nuances that draw us into temptation. Dark and rich as the finest chocolate, Holt's latest sizzles while delving into the dark and light side of humanity and delivering an erotic powerhouse of emotion.
Jordan tempts Margaret to seize the opportunity to learn about passion, even if their liaison cannot last -- and even if their relationship is based on lust and there are no promises of love. But after Jordan's dissolute father and his mistress arrive; Penelope decides she'd rather have an earl then a viscount; and Lavinia strives to secure the earl for herself, the fur flies. Father and son, mother and daughter vie for money and scheme for a title, with Margaret hoping only for love. (St. Martin's, Mar., 352 pp., $6.99)