A Passion for Pleasure: A Daring Hearts Novel. Nina Rowan. Grand Central Publishing. April 2013. 384 pp. hbk. ISBN #: 97814555509560.
Clara Winter’s husband is dead and she has lost her son the wiles and whims of her father-in-law who sees her as an unfit mother. Clara would do anything to have her son live with her as a mother and son should; but the law favors her father-in-law. The problems around her authority have to do with Wakefield Hall, property which is rightfully Clara’s but isn’t thanks to a legal decision binding in 1854 and favoring males rather than females. For now, she works with her Uncle Granville who makes musical dolls, jewelry boxes and other musical paraphernalia.
The situation seems impossible to solve until she meets Sebastian, her former music teacher, who no longer plays or composes music because of a mysterious ailment in one of his hands and arm. Whatever has caused this malady has him feeling bitter and extremely disillusioned with life. Why then does he manifest such an interest in her Uncle’s musical models? He is searching for papers about a cipher machine that could have numerous uses during war. Is it in Uncle Granville’s possession and is it effective? That is Sebastian’s mission, now complicated by the draw he feels toward Clara.
As the story progresses, Sebastian will become involved in Clara’s conundrum and that actually increases the tension and excitement of this meaty story. Yes, it’s a romance that has plenty of tender and sexy moments to thrill every romance lover, but it also involves a thrilling mystery seemingly beyond the knowledge and skills of everyone involved.
A Passion for Pleasure: A Daring Hearts Novel is fun and fascinating to read. Romances are always thrilling but this one moves away from stereotypical plotting to reveal secrets and complex plans for solutions to readers who love to try to solve a riddle before the characters do – and no you can’t predict how this one will end!
Very well done, Nina Rowan! This reviewer looks forward to reading more of the Daring Hearts series!