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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Miss Lavigne's Little White Lie by Samantha Grace

Miss Lavigne's Little White Lie by Samantha Grace
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (390 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

A Scoundrel Drives a Hard Bargain...

Spirited and determined to protect her young brother at any cost, Lisette Lavigne is desperate to flee New Orleans. There's only one ship sailing to England, though, and the rakish Captain Daniel Hillary will only allow Lisette's family aboard for a very steep price...

But a Lady Always Gets the Upper Hand...

Daniel prides himself on running a tight ship, and he knows a lady will be nothing but trouble on a long voyage. Yet he can't help but break his own ironclad rules when Lisette persuades him that being gentlemanly just this once is his wisest course of action...

Lisset Lavigne must have a guardian angel that fetches Captain Daniel Hillary again and again to save her from being ruined or worse. The reader has a unique vicarious experience as these two troubled characters struggle to come to terms with the twists and turns that life throws at them.

How the naïve but courageous Lisset and the arrogant, handsome but guilt-ridden Captain Daniel Hillary dance around each other after the deal for passage on his ship, the Cecily, entertains and gives the reader special insight into the personality of each of them. The undercurrent of impending danger is subtle and goes unheeded for a time.

Lisset is ingenious about the ways of the world. Her father has kept her sheltered, but now he's dead and she must cope. When she overhears what her betrothed plans to do with her brilliant but different little brother Rafe, she vows to do whatever it takes to keep him safe.

She seeks the assistance of her father’s longtime friend and business associate Monsieur Baptiste and follows the advice of her older, more worldly-wise cousin Serafine that says the tea leaves indicate they must escape to England where they will survive and thrive. Serafine has a secret agenda but she also loves Lisset and Rafe. Lisset and Rafe leave behind their beautiful home and a sugar plantation and run.

Louis Reynaud, Lisset’s betrothed, considers her his property and also plans to own the property Rafe will inherit when he comes of age. He seems to have no redeeming qualities and is ruled by greed and desire for power—to be the giver of life or death at his pleasure.

As the plot and sub-plots unfold, the characters become more real. The humor and gradual revelation of the characters’ hope, fears, and thoughts keep the reader engaged. However, at times I felt I was on the outside looking in on the action. Also, all the major players, even to Serafine’s lost-lover, getting from America to England and their knowing their way around so well seems contrived at times. But the need to find out how a young Creole beauty and a wealthy Englishman manage to find common ground and their happy-ever-after kept me turning pages. A special bonus is learning about Rafe, his unique abilities, and how he is nurtured.

Miss Lavigne's Little White Lie by Samantha Grace has a special kind of charm and a beautiful love story. It also lets the reader share in the redemption of Captain Daniel Hillary whose soul had been held hostage for too long.