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Wicked Fantasy [NOOK Book]

Overview

Enter the sensual world of Nicole Jordan’s breathtaking Regency romances.

He is her most wicked fantasy . . . and no proper suitor for a lady.

Since the night Trey Deverill’s stunning kiss melted her senses, Antonia Maitland has harbored a fascination for the infamous adventurer. But Deverill is nothing ...
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Wicked Fantasy

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Overview

Enter the sensual world of Nicole Jordan’s breathtaking Regency romances.

He is her most wicked fantasy . . . and no proper suitor for a lady.

Since the night Trey Deverill’s stunning kiss melted her senses, Antonia Maitland has harbored a fascination for the infamous adventurer. But Deverill is nothing Antonia needs in a husband, and when he abducts her–for her own protection–and then shockingly proposes marriage, a battle of wills ensues that proves dangerously irresistible.

Antonia’s charming wit and vibrant beauty make her England’s most sought-after heiress. Yet it’s her fiery spirit and awakening sensuality that stir a need in Deverill so fierce he would challenge the devil himself to possess her.

From the glittering ballrooms of London to the splendor of the Cornish coast, Deverill sweeps Antonia into unforgettable passion. But a treacherous plot threatens their lives and their chance for the grandest adventure of all: true love.


From the Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Romance readers who believe "heavy on sensuality" equals "light on character" would do well to pick up the latest Regency by Jordan (Lord of Seduction), who deftly discloses her hero and heroine's depths even as they de-clothe each other. Again featuring the adventures of the Guardians of the Sword, a secret society pledged to protect the weak and fight tyranny, Jordan spotlights Trey Deverill, a handsome, virile, pirate-battling ship captain who returns to London to safeguard beautiful heiress Antonia Maitland. Antonia's father died mysteriously, and Deverill suspects her well-born fianc is involved. When Antonia rejects Deverill's warnings and her fianc sets Deverill up for murder, the captain has no choice but to abduct Antonia to secure her safety. In the process, Deverill discovers an unexpected danger: losing his heart to the spirited girl. Seduction, masked balls, houses of ill-repute and the stirrings of first love swirl into an intoxicating mix. Once more Jordan proves that she well deserves her reputation for delivering both steamy scenes and an emotional punch. Agent, Karen Solem at Spenser Hill Associates. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Ms. Jordan proves herself a marvelous storyteller.”
–Rendezvous
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345484703
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/26/2005
  • Series: Paradise Series
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 64,945
  • File size: 525 KB

Read an Excerpt

London, June 1815

She didn’t look much like a damsel in distress, Deverill decided, watching Antonia Maitland across the crowded ballroom. Nothing like a young lady who needed his protection, her life endangered by a murderer. The potential victim of the very man she was privately engaged to wed.

Instead, she seemed in her element at the glittering ball, gowned in an exquisite confection—pearl gray gauze shot with silver—that must have cost a fortune. Of course, as one of England’s greatest heiresses, Miss Antonia Maitland could well afford to patronize the most fashionable modistes.

Yet the gown, while splendid, deserved only partial credit for her enchanting looks. Antonia positively glowed in the light of myriad candles burning in the crystal chandeliers overhead.

Deverill’s eyes narrowed at the unexpected lust that shot though him. Physically she little resembled the gangly, self-conscious girl he had met four years ago. She was as tall as he remembered, but her figure had ripened to slender, womanly curves, and she carried herself now with an elegance, a graceful self-assurance, that had only been hinted at then.

He would never forget their first meeting—her endearing embarrassment at catching him in the nude—and then later that evening, her bold, completely unexpected request for a kiss.

At the time he’d thought Antonia utterly unique. Despite the advantages of wealth and luxury, she had fretted at the strictures society placed on young ladies, wishing she’d been born male so that she could control her father’s shipping empire and sail the world in search of adventure.

Her ambition was the only masculine thing about her, Deverill reflected, riveted by her brilliant smile. Certainly her appearance was purely feminine. Her coppery mane was darker now, a glorious deep auburn. That and her creamy white skin gave her a vibrancy that roused all his primal male instincts.

She was a beauty, no doubt about it. And reportedly her hand was sought by numerous gentlemen, despite her late father’s low birth and breeding.

This morning, Mrs. Peeke, the Maitland housekeeper and a longtime friend of Deverill’s, had proudly summed up her mistress’s success: Antonia was genuinely popular with London’s fashionable set, accepted in society by virtue of her own lively charm and her claim to genteel blood on her mother’s side. And naturally, her vast inheritance.

At present, she was surrounded by a flock of her ardent admirers, including her betrothed, the refined, aristocratic Baron Heward.

Her betrothal was the prime reason Deverill was here in England. He’d returned to London after more than a year’s absence, summoned by the housekeeper’s fearful letter, imputing that Antonia was in danger. Samuel Maitland had died last year, supposedly of heart failure, yet Mrs. Peeke suspected differently—that he’d actually been poisoned by Lord Heward after a violent argument when Maitland had withdrawn his permission for the baron to wed his daughter.

Deverill’s promise to investigate had brought him to this ball this evening in search of Antonia. He planned to renew the acquaintance and question her about her betrothal before deciding how to proceed.

It was not much of a secret that she and Lord Heward had a private understanding. They’d been betrothed only days before her father’s death, but at Antonia’s insistence had put off any formal declaration for a proper year of mourning. According to the housekeeper, the official announcement of their betrothal would be made public next month at a betrothal ball, with the wedding to take place three weeks later, after the banns were called. Once they were wed, Mrs. Peeke feared, Heward would control Antonia’s fortune, so what was to stop him from murdering her as he might have murdered her father?

This was Antonia’s first social function since coming out of mourning. Deverill watched as the baron led her out onto the ballroom floor for a cotillion.

She seemed happy enough, laughing at something Lord Heward said. But then, the tall, flaxen-haired nobleman allegedly had the suave charm and patrician allure to win the heart of any susceptible young heiress.

Deverill felt his jaw tighten. He had only a nodding acquaintance with Heward from their few encounters at gentlemen’s clubs, except for one occasion that had left an indelibly repellent impression—when he’d seen the baron viciously wield his cane on a beggar boy for the mere sin of daring to touch his elegant coat. That incident alone had roused an instinctive dislike of the man.

Directly after meeting with Mrs. Peeke this morning, Deverill had visited his own shipping offices to discover what his people knew about Heward. What he’d ascertained was mainly hearsay but unsavory enough to warrant further investigation, and he planned to call on his director tonight after the ball to see which if any of the rumors could be substantiated.

However, just because Heward was rumored to be avaricious and ruthless in his business dealings didn’t make him guilty of murder.

He wouldn’t presume the nobleman guilty without proof, Deverill resolved, but he meant to discover if the housekeeper’s suspicions had merit. If so—if Samuel Maitland had indeed been poisoned by Heward—then he would bring his friend’s killer to justice. And he would make absolutely certain that his friend’s daughter didn’t become the baron’s next unwitting victim.



Given the warmth of the ballroom, Antonia was glad when at the conclusion of the dance Lord Heward left her with her friend Emily and went off in search of refreshment for them both.

“Isn’t it famous—my first ball is a perfect crush,” Emily declared, surveying the crowd with delight.

Mustering proper enthusiasm, Antonia agreed. “A decided triumph, just as I predicted.”

“I am so glad that you could be here to enjoy it.”

Emily, now the Countess of Sudbury after her estimable marriage last fall, had been planning her ball for months but had waited so that Antonia could attend after she put off full mourning.

Additionally, her success had been aided by world events. London ordinarily would be thin of company this time of year, for once Parliament adjourned, a significant portion of the Quality normally retired to their country estates for the summer. But the news last week of the Duke of Wellington’s miraculous and bloody victory at Waterloo, which had finally defeated Napoleon Bonaparte once and for all, had brought the ton flocking back to town for the jubilant celebrations.

“Now if only Prinny would make an appearance,” Emily said hopefully, “my success would be assured. But I suppose that is asking too much. . . .”

Her voice trailed off as a sudden buzz of excited whispers rippled through the throng of guests during a lull in the orchestra music. Like Emily, Antonia glanced toward the entrance doors, wondering if the Prince Regent had arrived after all.

Then the crowd parted slightly, and she caught sight of the tall, powerful figure of a man moving toward them. Antonia’s pulse gave an unmistakable leap as she recognized the daring adventurer who had featured so prominently in her dreams more often than she cared to count during the past four years. Blood suddenly began pounding in her ears, making her light-headed.

“Oh, my word,” Emily breathed, dismay and excitement lacing her tone. “Is that . . .”

Trey Deverill, Antonia finished silently for her friend. “I believe,” she answered rather unsteadily, “it is Mr. Deverill.”

“What is he doing here at my ball? I sent him no card of invitation.”

He was heading directly toward them, Antonia realized, her stomach rioting with butterflies. But then, miraculously, he paused to speak to a gentleman who had waylaid him.

“He looks a bit like a pirate,” Emily observed breathlessly.

He did indeed, Antonia thought, relieved to have more time to prepare herself before coming face-to-face with Deverill.

Even dressed in a tailored black coat and white satin knee breeches, he was the picture of raw masculinity. His gleaming brown hair, thick and wavy and sun-streaked, was an unfashionable length, almost reaching his shoulders, while his striking features were still deeply tanned. With his height and sleek, powerful build, he commanded the attention of every eye in the room.

Hers in particular. Every inch of him was as vital and bold as Antonia remembered.

Then Deverill turned toward her again, and her gaze locked with his. She couldn’t look away. Absurdly, all her nerves began thrumming in anticipation, as if her entire being had suddenly come alive after a long sleep.

Emily, too, seemed unaccountably flustered. “He is moving this way. What should I do, Antonia? Should I refuse him admittance? Mr. Deverill is not considered respectable, even if he comes from a highly genteel family and is exceedingly rich.”

“No, you don’t want to make a scene,” Antonia replied in a rallying tone. “Try to act naturally, as if you expected to receive him.”

But when Deverill came to a halt before her, it was Antonia who had difficulty managing the pretense of composure.

He was breathtakingly handsome at close range, captivating with his sea green eyes gazing down into hers so intently. It aroused her just to look at him—although surely the flush infusing her body could be attributed to the warmth of the ballroom.

“Miss Maitland,” he murmured briefly in greeting, in that deep, rich voice she still remembered.

To her surprise, though, he barely acknowledged her before bowing politely over Emily’s hand. “Pray accept my apologizes, Lady Sudbury, for appearing uninvited. I have been away in India this past year and just heard the terrible news about Miss Maitland’s father. I was a close friend of Samuel Maitland’s and wished to offer her my condolences.”

Emily was not proof against Deverill’s easy charm. “That is most kind of you, Mr. Deverill. And you are welcome to join us if you wish.”

Returning his attention to Antonia, he took her gloved hand. “I am keenly sorry for your loss. Your father was a remarkable man.”

Antonia winced, feeling the familiar sharp stab of grief that had diminished little in the year since her father’s passing. “Thank you,” she murmured, discomfited by the touch of Deverill’s fingers as they pressed hers.

“No doubt you miss him.”

“Very much.” She missed her father dreadfully. Yet she was determined to throw off her gloom and look to the future; it was what Papa would have wanted, she was certain.

Deverill was regarding her sympathetically. “Since you are out of black gloves now, Miss Maitland, perhaps you will honor me with a dance for old times’ sake.”


From the Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

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3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Misleading covers

    The book covers in this series make them seem old which is why it took me so long to give them a chance. Oh I was not disappointed. Their secret society reminds me of a Galen Foley series but less confusing fight scenes, more character build up. Because I just resently read this series, I didn't have to wait for the next books to be written. I will definatly be rereading this series soon.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!

    Nicole Jordon is an amazing author. One would automatically think that this book is just a trashy romance novel, but there is a real plot that is thrilling and romantic and keeps you on your toes from start until finish. I love how she is true to the time period of 19th century England, what with woman's roles, but that does not stop her from creating fun, spirited female protagonists that match up perfectly with their respective male characters. This novel is fun, charming, thrilling and romantic, and I really feel that this is a must read for people who love historical romance or romance in general!

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Wicked Fantasy - Nicole Jordan

    Spell binding - I am loving this Paradise series. Again - once you start to read your stories - they are page turners. This couple are so meant to be together. The romance is wonderful. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2006

    Very Predictable... Same story and characters as the last few books...

    This is the 4th book by NJ that I have read in the past few months. I also read ¿The Lover¿ (didn¿t care for it), ¿Lord of Seduction¿ (average) and ¿Master of Temptation¿ (fair at best). I guess the biggest drawback to me in most of her books once I was done reading, is that she writes about sex ALL the time. The sex scenes happen too early in the book, too often (practically every other chapter) and the rest of the story falls away in light of so many sex passages. She is tasteful in her writing and it is always appealing so, that¿s not the problem. She simply takes a good thing and overdoes it. After four books now, I can say they all share a pattern and my guess is the other books I still have to read will all follow suit. Perhaps this is the ¿niche¿ NJ and her editor and publisher all want for her to fall into ¿ the ¿sexy and smutty¿ author. I think her ability is greater than this but, she gets stuck in this quagmire and it gets dull very fast. As expected. This book, ¿Wicked Fantasy¿ was simply a continuation of the other two books in the series LofS and MofT. Although I would give this last book higher marks than the first two it still fell into it¿s predictable pattern ¿ just a little later than the earlier books. Lots of sex, limited character development and a dull and uncreative plot line. Like the other books in the series, I just never connected well with Deverill or Antonia. He was an interesting but, not very dynamic or mysterious hero. He was hot looking, loyal and had some past blemishes but, nothing remarkable. Antonia seemed a bit sheltered and spoiled and followed daddy¿s orders to the point of being a bit one sided and dull and then suddenly she wants to be a woman of high adventure ¿ almost like two characters in one. I would say out of the three books, at least this hero and heroine each had some redeeming qualities and more likeable traits that made reading much easier than the earlier books. All of the earlier characters from the previous two books showed up again in this book ¿ Max and Caro, Lady Isabelle, Sir Gawain, Thorne & Diana etc. If I had really liked all these earlier characters it would have been interesting. Since I never got into these characters ¿ revisiting them was empty for me. I think a lot of authors write good enough to please the masses but, it¿s the really special ones I am interested in after 20 years of romance reader. Enjoy this author if she works for you. If she doesn¿t, there are certainly other really special authors and books out there. I gave NJ three stars for trying but, no more as she didn¿t come out of the box. She is guilty of a writer¿s worst crime to her audience ¿ being PREDICTABLE! But¿Don¿t give up. Just keep reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    WOW READ!

    Anything by jordan is a great read but this one seems even better. Any book that has a bad baron such as antonia's semi-betrothed needs to read this book. Need i say how sexily written it is?? not if it was written by nicole jordan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    Very Disappointing

    With so many excellent reviews, I expected this to be a great read. I thought that the characters were thinly drawn, the plot predictable, and I could care less what happened to the protagonists in the end. I didn't find out what the ending was as I didn't finish the book. Too bad because some of Nicole Jordan's other books were fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    All I can say is... WOW!!

    The story between Trey and Antonia was one of those that every woman would want to fantasize about. Trey inhabits all the qualitites one would want as a character. He's strong, bold, charming and deeply sexual. Antonia on the other hand took a bit more time to realize her feelings but once accepted, there was nothing but deep emotion between the main characters. This is a definite read!! Once you start, you can't put the book down. I can't wait for the next installment!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Outstanding historical romance

    Antonia Maitland first meets the dashing Trey Deverill at the tender age of seventeen at her father¿s London home. Trey was well-known for his adventures and explorations, most notably his daring pirate battles on the high seas. Antonia never tired of hearing his adventuresome tales and found herself envious of the escapades of this close friend of her father¿s. Four years later Antonia¿s father is dead and his housekeeper suspects that Antonia¿s intended, Baron Heward, is responsible for his death, further believing that once Heward and Antonia are married and he has full control of her wealth, that she too will be killed. The housekeeper requests that Trey investigate Heward and protect Antonia while doing so. An American cousin of Trey¿s who does business with Maitland Shipping gives Trey insight to unscrupulous business dealings that Heward is participating in while running the shipping business, but Antonia does not want to believe him. Trey repeatedly sets out to intentionally provoke Heward in Antonia¿s presence, hopeful that he will lose his temper and show his true nature. Once Trey succeeds in humiliating Heward, he is met with brutal retaliation and finds himself needing to escape London, kidnapping Antonia and taking her with him to a secret location until he can prove Heward¿s guilt. With the assistance of fellow members of the Guardians of the Sword, Trey sets out to protect Antonia and prove Heward¿s guilt. When Antonia insists on being a part of Heward¿s downfall, Trey doesn¿t want to put her life at risk, although he understands her wanting to help put Heward in prison for her father¿s murder. Trey¿s plan begins to fall into place what he doesn¿t plan on is falling in love with Antonia. He knows that Antonia plans to follow her father¿s wish for her to marry a man of nobility. Realizing that she is falling in love with Trey, Antonia is torn between what her heart desires and the notion that she should do as her father wished. These characters are so well written that they leap to life on the pages. Nicole Jordan¿s heroes, Trey being no exception, are always strongly masculine, charming and determined in their passions. Antonia is strengthened by intelligence, wit, grace and beauty. Ms. Jordan never fails to deliver a book that is full of historical detail, heart-pounding danger and breathtaking sensuality. The secondary characters are exceptionally written without overpowering Trey and Antonia. WICKED FANTASY has my very highest recommendation, an absolute must-read for lovers of sensual historical romance. Courtesy Laurie/Romance Junkies

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    Nicole Jordan delivers another romantic punch.

    Note the gazebo on the cover and remember you may never look at a gazebo the same way again. The sparks seem to fly between our hero and heroine more in this book which really draws you into the character personalities. It also makes the spicey love scenes heat up the pages. I didn't want to put it down. This is not just a love story but, a story of substance, characters who have depth and live life. The descriptive scenes, intense emotion,suspense,sexy hero,his challenging heroine,and delicious love scenes all add up to another success for Ms Jordan. Sure to be a bestseller!!! All the more reason if Nicole Jordan's name is on it,it is a definite buy for me with no question of my assured enjoyment. She never fails to deliver.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2005

    This is exactly what I want when I wish to read a historical romance novel! A true gourmet!

    Just when I think Nicole Jordan has written a wonderful book, she somehow manages to come up with an even better one. Take her paradise series for example - the first book, 'Master of Temptation,' was excellent. 'Lord of Seduction' followed as an incredible read, a keeper to be certain. This newest novel, 'Wicked Fantasy,' is well... wickedly fantastic!!! __________ As a young girl and under unexpected circumstances, Antonia Maitland meets a mysteriously dangerous Trey Deverill. As any curious teenager, she develops an innocent crush on the devilishly handsome adventurer. As she grows into a young woman, her crush evolves into a not-so-innocent fantasy, nightly reoccurring in her dreams.__________ To honor her beloved father's fondest wish of a high-class marriage, she becomes betrothed to a nobleman. After a tragic year in her life and delayed nuptials, Antonia once again meets Deverill. This time, however, Trey is convinced that Antonia's life is in danger and announces his intentions of championing her. Antonia, a wealthy heiress, and a respected icon of the ton, will have none of him or his forced guardianship. __________ Deverill will take whatever extreme measures necessary to protect Antonia, even when his sense of duty becomes tangled with unfamiliar emotions. When sizzling passion is part of the emotions to be dealt with, it becomes even more potent in a beautiful setting and in the face of life-threatening dangers. Deverill and Antonia both struggle to accept their true natures and make choices from the heart as opposed to those born of obligation. __________ This is such a beautifully romantic tale. I felt as though I witnessed an incredibly witty, adventurous and timeless courtship, which shaped into a breathtaking love. Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    Wowza!

    I will never EVER lend this one out because I know I won't get it back! This was such a fabulous book. Super steamy, romantic, funny....just awesome! This was my first Nicole Jordan book, and it will definitely not be my last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2005

    Nicole Jordan does it again!

    Wow!!! This is always how I feel after reading a Nicole Jordan romance... blown away! This was no different. WICKED FANTASY fulfills all my dearest fantasies for great romance reading: vibrant, interesting characters, a brilliant plot which is amazing and yet also plausible, beautiful prose, depth of emotion, incredibly gorgeous (and HOT) love scenes.... in short, everything a romance fan could hope for. It's a page-turner, a winner, A KEEPER. Nicole Jordan has done it again! I will ALWAYS read her books. I've read many of her novels several times over, and been thrilled each time. Does this tell you something? :) Enjoy!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    cleverly crafted Regency romantic amateur sleuth thriller

    In 1811 adventurer Trey Deverill meets with his partner shipping magnate Samuel Maitland who introduces him to his sixteen year old daughter Antonia. That night Trey hears a strange noise outside, investigates and finds Antonia slinging arrows. They talk and she says she regrets not being able to go on a grand adventure. He asks what that would be so she responds by asking him to kiss her, which he does, but quickly leaves because she is too young and the child of a friend, who wants her wedded to nobility. Four years later, Samuel is dead and Antonia is unofficially betrothed to another of her father¿s business associates Lord Heward. Family housekeeper Mrs. Peake believes Heward murdered her employer Mr. Maitland. The night before Heward and Maitland argued over the aristocrat selling slaves; afterward Maitland drank from a bottle given to him by Heward and keeled over. Heward summoned his doctor who declared heart it a attack, and the bottle vanished. Because Samuel supported the Guardian of the Sword that Trey is a member of, he must protect Antonia by finding out if Heward is a killer, but falls in love with her. --- WICKED FANTASY is a cleverly crafted Regency romantic amateur sleuth thriller that grips the audience once Trey provides the details behind Mrs. Peake¿s suspicions. The story line is loaded with plenty of action as Trey investigates as best he can, handicapped by needing to proceed cautiously in case Heward is innocent and the right spouse for Samuel¿s daughter. The heroine is a terrific amazon princess who deserves the best just as Nicole Jordan provides that to her audience. --- Harriet Klausner

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