THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION

Author(s): 

Rosenthal crafts a tantalizing tale about
a fiery love/hate relationship that defies the boundaries of love. Her strong characters' fierce desires will leave readers panting. The vivid historical details and adventurous plotline are captivating, even though the author's personal comments throughout the story intrude and may disrupt your suspension of disbelief. Still, Rosenthal's storytelling may leave you too spellbound to notice.

As children, Mary Penley and Kit Stansell defy their feuding families by becoming friends and then running off to marry. But their hedonistic lifestyle and volatile personalities lead to fierce arguments and, eventually, a mutual separation. Kit makes a name for himself in the military, and Mary lives a bohemian life with poets and reformers (including Byron and Shelley), until a chance meeting where their desires flare. But they can't play with fire and not get burned.

Kit's life in thrown into turmoil, and Mary's restless nature is set afire; one night and they both want more. They part until Kit delves into a conspiracy that threatens the country. Thrust together to save England Mary and Kit rediscover the love that brought them together, but will it be too late? (Signet Eclipse, Sep., 352 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin