Nationally bestselling author Madeline Hunter has captivated fans with unforgettable romance novels filled with suspense, seduction, mystery, and love. Now meet "the Saint" in this sizzling tale of a mysterious aristocrat, a high-spirited American beauty, and an affair that begins with an innocent temptation...and leads to the most exquisitely dangerous of seductions.
Vergil Duclairc was a man used to getting his way. And as the newly appointed guardian of Miss Bianca Kenwood, he was determined to find her and bring her back to live with his family. The last thing he expected was to find his new ward scandalously costumed and employed as a theatrical singer. Bianca had no interest in giving up her independence, but there was something compelling about this handsome and brooding viscount who seemed to think he owned her and her inheritance. As she allows herself to be swept back to his country estate, she discovers that Vergil is a man of secrets and sensuality, and that she is not immune to his inscrutable charm….nor is he to hers. Suddenly, in a moment that would change everything, they are thrust into a world of dangerous intrigue, where enemies abound and only the passion that ignites between them can save them—or prove their glorious undoing.
This conventional Regency-era romance from Hunter, who's best known for her medieval romances (Lord of a Thousand Nights, etc.), is a sizzling take on the guardian-ward formula. Vergil, Viscount Duclairc, is unexpectedly thrust into the role of guardian to high-spirited American heiress Bianca Kenwood when his older brother dies suddenly. Though high in the instep, the Duclaircs are dangerously low on money, and Vergil hopes to replenish their coffers by marrying Bianca off to his rakish younger brother, Dante. Though Dante is willing, the lady is not. Bianca wants to be an opera singer, not a wife. Nevertheless, she falls in love and quickly into bed with the mysterious Vergil, who finds himself taken with her despite her independent ways. Their relationship, though highly sensual, feels strained, and Vergil's opportunism concerning her money may trouble readers. Hunter weaves in an excellent subplot involving blackmail and suicide, but this tale the second in a new trilogy (following The Seducer) fails to meet the high standard set by her exceptional medieval novels.