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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Almost Silenced by Isabel Mere

Almost Silenced by Isabel Mere
Publisher: Highland Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Full (274 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Carisa Páez Velloso travels with her daughter to London at the behest of the family of her six-year-old child's father. What seemed a genial invitation turns into a nightmare and Carisa finds herself embroiled in a fight against English nobility and laws written in their favor. A chance meeting with widower Max DiSanto, advocate of law, brings hope of retaining custody of her deaf daughter. The case Max and Carisa set out to win engages more than written law as sparks ignite within their damaged, unwilling hearts.

Set in England in the early nineteenth century, ‘Almost Silenced,’ features one strong willed woman who might have kept her place, had the law not treated her so frustratingly unfairly.

Lovely young widow Carisa Páez Velloso, is caught in the laws that so favor nobility, back in early 1800s. She traveled to London with her young, deaf daughter, and walked into an emotional, planned ambush by her in-laws. A clever Spanish woman, she is somewhat out of her element, as is her daughter. Both however, are unexpectedly resourceful. And, Quilla manages to gain the attention of a gentleman that is both willing to help her – and apparently, able. Carisa turns to this stranger for help, and finds more than an honorable man, but a man she could almost love, Max DiSanto.

The twists of law serve to bring together Disanto with Carisa. There are meetings with the high-handed Wynsworths, (and some of those conversations are simply delicious.) There are discussions among other members of the legal clan, and regular returns to in-family wrangling. Through it all, we see the trust between Max and Carisa growing…but everything may depend on the outcome of their case. And, we slowly learn that Max is not without an Achilles heel, either. Can he rise above?

The motivation of her Carisa’s in-laws is dealt with in a limited fashion; although superficially we see the Wynsworth’s reasons, such nasty people might have been a bit more thoroughly developed, as their actions and intentions effect the overall plausibility of the storyline. As they are, they are quite the bad-guys we love to hate, but in such a long story, the stereotype falls a bit flat.

Historic romance fans will love the level of minute detail Mere shares; from dress of the day, lace fans, and driving the carriage ‘round Regents Park, to the over the top formalities of the day. This is a very readable and enjoyable story.