My Lord deBurgh
Grade : B-

My Lord de Burgh, Deborah Simmons' fifth in this series of seven brothers, has many things going for it: Stephen, the most handsome of the de Burgh brothers; Brighid, a beautiful, strong-willed heroine; a bit of magic; a bit of mystery; and a sweetly satisfying ending. While this is not the best in the series to date, it is good. If not for some odd errors (odd, because this author rarely makes them) that pulled me out of the story, this book might have earned an even higher grade.

Stephen de Burgh is a thoroughly useless, bored, completely debauched alcoholic bent on pursuing skirts and nothing else. He is drop-dead gorgeous, but his charms are lost on Brighid who wants nothing to do with him. When she and her two aunts arrive at Campion to ask for an escort to her home in Wales, Stephen does just about every kind of finagling he can think of to get out of it and Brighid does everything she can think of to get his father to assign someone else.

But Lord Campion, Stephen's father, has other plans and insists his incorrigible son escort the lady. Thus begins a road trip that pits Stephen and Brighid against each other as they travel together on the perilous road to her home in Wales.

Initially, Stephen sees Brighid as plain and severe, until, in angry frustration, he yanks off her wimple and discovers the most incredible blond hair he's ever seen. Once Stephen gets a good look at her (and a good feel as they tumble to the ground and he kisses her senseless), having her is all he can think of (sober or drunk). In fact, Stephen spends ninety-percent of the book "hard" and aching for Brighid. When she begins to respond to Stephen and realizes he is not at all what he seems, Brighid's faith in him begins to transform them both.

There are only a few characters in this story; the focus is entirely on Stephen and Brighid. They each have hurts in their pasts that they must overcome to be together, but this is where Deborah Simmons' fine writing comes into play, for it is truly love that makes each character change and grow. It is due to Stephen's love for Brighid that she is able to deal with her sadness and her perception that she lacks self-worth, and it is Brighid's love and faith that convinces Stephen he no longer needs drink to take his place among the stalwart de Burghs.

Some anachronisms and an overuse of certain phrases (the words handsome and hokus-pokus are repeated so many times, it gets silly), and far too many exclamation points were distracting! See? Now you have to read the whole sentence again to add the emphasis the exclamation point gives it. Very distracting.

Nevertheless, I can, want to, will, and do recommend My Lord de Burgh. I enjoyed it, and you will too. Deborah Simmons is an author I read automatically. Why? Because she gets it right. I can always count on her for a good tale, a wonderful hero, a feisty heroine, and a love story where it truly is love that makes the difference.

Reviewed by Marianne Stillings
Grade : B-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : September 4, 2000

Publication Date: 01/2000

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