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Friday, May 14, 2010

Harmless Deception by Lesley-Ann McLeod

Harmless Deception by Lesley-Ann McLeod
Publisher: Uncial Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (232 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Is a deception ever harmless? Can dishonesty ever be justified? Tansy Evens thinks so; so does milliner Grace Whitton. For the deception they propose will harm no one and will provide them with a basis for introduction to the high society of London. The deception will afford well-born Grace an opportunity to take her rightful place, if only briefly, and it will supply Tansy with a brief, dazzling season.

To Tansy's brother Rufus, the Baron Evenswood, it offers nothing at all. However, he is convinced to take part against his better judgement. But the deception proves to have troublesome consequences for everyone.

A tangled web is woven when deception’s chosen. Harmless and deception rarely fit together, a truth Tansy, Grace, and Rufus learn with more than a little despair and heartache for themselves.

Grace Whitton, born to nobility, but disenfranchised, owns a successful millinery shop she inherited from her mother. She is up-to-date on fashion and knows her business well, but she remembers and longs for the life she knew before her father’s downfall and his death. Reared and educated to be a noblewoman, Grace can manage a household, servants, parties, social graces, and all that goes with the superficiality of High Society in London. Yet, when all is said and done, she is just a shop owner on a not-too-fashionable street.

Rufus Evans, sixth Baron of Evanswood and his sister Tansy from Durham County in the North of England are in London and overwhelmed as to how to get established so Tansy can have the Season her parents wanted her to have. Tansy's desperate desire for her Season, Rufus’ desire to help her fulfill her dream, and Grace’s desire to have the Season her mother wanted her to have, plus a desire for a little vengeance bring them together in a joint endeavor that creates a fast-paced plot for a delightful Regency novel.

In Harmless Deception, the hero is not the nobleman rogue so often seen, but a rustic with a dreary negative outlook on life. Making the rundown estate he inherited prosperous and being guardian for the younger sister have been his joy. However, his duty to his crippled, whiny fiancé has sucked all the joy away. He sees only a dreary, duty-filled future. His sister Tansy and her machinations keep him and many others a little wary of what will happen next. Her exuberance for life, her determination and loyalty makes the story sparkle.

The love that flourishes amid the hubbub is beautifully revealed by Lesley-Anne McLeod’s compelling writing style. Her character development makes the emotional maturation of Grace, Rufus, and Tansy bubble with life as they muddle their way through the tangled web of deceit they wove. I enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it to fans of Regency Romance.

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