In this steamy romance by "the mistress of sizzling sensuality" (Romantic Times), eighteen-year-old, defiantly tomboyish Jessie Lindsay is left at the mercy of her wicked stepmother Celia upon the death of her beloved father. Beautiful, vampish Celia can have any man she wants, and when devilishly handsome stranger Stuart Edwards turns up amongst their aristocratic Mississippi plantation society, she wants him. What Celia doesn't know is that Stuart is a con man and a fortune hunter, and when he marries her it is to gain control of the plantation, Mimosa, that Celia inherited from Jessie's father. Jessie hates Stuart on sight, but he takes pity on the hoydenish young woman and is kind to her. An unexpected friendship develops between Stuart and the spirited, late-blooming Jessie as he steps in to protect her from evil Celia, then helps Jessie transform from an ugly ducking to a swan -- and in the process awakens feelings in Jessie that are like nothing she has ever experienced. Stuart never imagined that he could fall for Jessie, but the desire that blazes between them is impossible for either of them to resist. Will the dark secret Stuart has been keeping tear them apart as they fall recklessly into a scandalous, forbidden love? Can Jessie trust the man she has come to love with all her heart?
New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller Karen Robards is the six-time winner of Affaire de Coeur’s Silver Pen Award for favorite romance author.
And don’t miss Karen Robards’ newest crime thriller, THE ULTIMATUM, available in June!
“Behold the wondrous star in the firmament of historical romance that is Karen Robards, With each new book her luster intensifies…” – Romantic Times
Karen Robards writes “spellbinding romance.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“Incomparable.” – Affair de Coeur
“Karen Robards penetrates the steamiest of women’s fantasies.” – Chicago Sun-Times
“Karen Robards is one of the most popular voices in women’s fiction.” – Newsweek
“Robards is one terrific storyteller.” – Chicago Tribune
About the Author:
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved to write. My first book was a ten-page effort written at age five for my grandmother. Throughout grade school, high school and college I wrote for various school publications. When I was eighteen, my first professionally published piece—a humorous anecdote—appeared in Reader’s Digest. Still, it never occurred to me that I might become a professional writer. I aimed for a career as a lawyer and was actually in law school when I sold my first book. When that happened, the world lost a would-be lawyer and gained a writer. That book, which is still in print, is Island Flame, and it was published when I was twenty-four. Since then, I’ve written over forty books, which regularly appear on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists, among others. The mother of three sons, I read, I write, and I chauffeur children. That’s my life.
Robards ( Tiger's Eye ) here transposes the tale of Cinderella to a cotton plantation in the antebellum South. Wicked, sexy Celia is cruel to Jessie, the spirited, late-blooming daughter of her deceased husband. The unlikely prince is Clive, a former riverboat gambler who marries Celia to gain control of her property. It is he who sees past Jessie's self-hatred to her inner beauty and who summons her deepest longings. Robards so effectively entangles the trio in plot complications that, ultimately, she must introduce a murder in order to clear a path for her so-called happy ending. Despite Robards's pains to legitimate the ardor between a young woman and her stepmother's husband, the unsavoriness of this theme is aggravated by protracted descriptions of Clive's drunken defloration of Jessie and his subsequent attempts to teach her the art of lovemaking.