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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Passion at an Exhibition

Passion at an Exhibition by Tori Anne
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short story
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Ms. Rosalyn Abbett, a spirited young suffragette in 1890s New York, has just received news that fills her with panic. The confident, striking and highly acclaimed Mr. Anthony Simms, a man she’s met only through letters, will be arriving tomorrow night. Rosalyn's not at all sure what to think. A junior curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she and Mr. Simms are to prepare an exhibition of royal jewelry from around the world. Together. Without a chaperone. With an entire museum all to themselves, will her scorching dreams of this stranger come true?

Instead of Historical romance, read Hysterical romance! In "Passion at an Exhibition", Tori Anne's humorous approach to women and their empowerment is less about The Vote than one might imagine!

Lovely young Rosalyn sets about redesigning a gallery display at the MET, although she is tired and a bit disinterested. Dedicated as she is to the cause of the suffragettes in 1890, getting the vote is exhausting work, and it keeps her too late at evening meetings. She is, after all, chapter secretary, and can be forgiven for staying for every word... long after the 'official' meeting ends. To her very knowing friend Mrs. Crane, she must admit that sometimes indelicate things are discussed - things most definitely not political... but all that is quite beside the point when she discovers exactly whose new exhibit she is preparing the gallery for!

Loosen your corsets to take this one on! Rosalyn might seem prim and proper, but the contrast with her real self is the difference between the icy marble floor and the glittering-hot jewels of a Roman Intaglio gem that grace the display.

Anthony Simms is absolutely the man for her, as she knows perfectly well, and assures her best friend Mary. She dreams about him nightly, hears his voice, and imagines... all of his majestic accoutrements. Of course, they've never met, so when Mrs. Crane casually announces he is due tomorrow, Rosalyn scrambles to prepare.

Will she give away her feelings, and worse - will they even matter? She struggles to find just the perfect way to present herself, from looks to attitude. She struggles with pretense, in one form or another. From the first blush, never mind will Anthony meet her expectations, what will he think of her? And, truly, this first meeting is only the start of the story.

Tori Anne has created an amazing, surprising, titillating story in the midst of a very unusual background. The window to the past is more like a frank window to passion. I give 4.5 books for this beautifully written, beautifully crafted - and crafty tale. Every surprise is more than the last... and quite a few of the scenes are... just plain Wow.

Every now and then, a book cover hits so perfectly, it is worth mentioning. Kudos for this innovative but still art-centric cover to Nicola Martinez of The Wild Rose Press; it fits the tale perfectly!