Roth’s third When Hearts Dare historical (after Alanna), set primarily in a thinly sketched 1857 New Orleans, thoughtfully—and sometimes ponderously—explores not just romantic and erotic attachments, but also the bonds of family. Cameron Andrews, still reeling from his wife’s and infant’s deaths two years before, discovers he has another child, 13-year-old Alexia. Widow Josette LeBlanc, Alexia’s mother’s sister, married a wealthy man to get out of the bayou, but in spite of her place in New Orleans she still feels isolated. With Alexia’s mother long dead, Josette believes Alexia could have a better life with her father, far away from the bayou and its dangerous denizens. Cameron and Josette connect immediately, and are soon overwhelmed by passion. The story builds momentum gradually, but sympathetic characters keep readers’ interest, and Roth gracefully weaves disparate threads together. The pleasure of the exploration of different kinds of love is occasionally marred by stereotypes, including an evil voudounista, and the setting lacks verisimilitude, but readers looking for more or less historical romance with a bit of spice will be satisfied. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Oct.)
"An exciting new voice in historical romance." Anna Campbell, award-winning author of What a Duke Dares
"Monsieur Andrews, welcome to my home."
At the smoky, velvet sound, Cameron swung around. Every function in his bodyheart, breath, blood ceased to function.
She was lovely. More than lovely.
Tendrils of raven hair framed a face so exquisite, it disarmed him. Her mouth, a soft, dewy pink, parted. And those eyes, as dark as Creole coffee, intelligent and assessing, roamed over him and then back to take hold of his. He needed to step closer, to stroke her skin. To possess her. But would his wealth and worldly experience be a match for the free-spirited Cajun-born widow?
Across the oceans, between worlds old and newtwo lost souls find themselves at a crossroads.
"Josette is a story as steamy and fascinating as its setting of New Orleans." Anna Campbell, award-winning author of What a Duke Dares
"Gripped me from the opening page. . .kept me reading long into the night." Jodi Thomas on Alanna
"The complex characters and rich sensuality make this a story to be savored." – Publishers Weekly on Celine