One Night of Passion
When I started thinking about writing this review, I was stumped in trying to put together my thoughts. You see, I was never really certain exactly what kind of book I was reading.
Is it one of those light-hearted Regency romps with a TSTL heroine who makes a really ridiculous decision leading to a series of light-hearted antics culminating in true love? Or, on the other hand, is it really an adventure story with a more mature heroine risking all for her hero and her country?
The truth is that One Night of Passion is a bit of both. And, regretfully, if the transition from one type of book to the next had been a bit smoother and if there weren’t far too many really unbelievable coincidences in the story this slightly above average novel would have rated a higher grade and an actual recommendation.
Further reader confusion is likely to be caused by the cover. Avon has designed a beautiful one for this book certain to attract readers looking for a sweet and appealing Cinderella story. But, even though a ball and the proverbial shoe are involved in the tale, the comparison ends just about there.
Georgiana Escott is the victim of that old saw the forced-by-a-despicable-guardian-marriage-to-a-detestable-old-man. In this case, however, since her husband-to-be is demanding proof of her virginity, Georgiana sees a way out. With the physician due to arrive in the morning to perform the necessary examination, our heroine has one night to lose her virginity and render herself unacceptable as a wife. Where better to accomplish the goal than at the famous Cyprian’s Ball?
Colin Danvers is a man with a few serious problems of his own. Disgraced, branded as a traitor to England, and dumped by his fiancé, the former Naval hero finds himself at the same ball looking for a way to temporarily drown his sorrows and forget his problems.
Clearly, Georgiana and Colin are made for each other. And, when they meet at the ball, it quickly escalates into an incredible night of passion (especially so for a virgin, I must say) that neatly accomplishes all their goals.
In a story like this it’s understood that there are big secrets the hero and heroine don’t know about each other. In this case, Georgiana doesn’t know that Colin is the very same disinterested guardian who signed the papers condeming her to a marriage she would despise, although the reader is made privy to this fact in the first chapter.
It’s at this point that the tone and flavor of the tale change dramatically. Georgiana is not married and is no longer under the protection of her family. As a newly mature (and far more interesting) character, she finds herself in Italy with the invading French army getting closer by the day. And, while I don’t want to give away too many plot details, Georgiana’s personal situation has changed dramatically changes that are a very great shock to the mysterious sea captain on whose ship she plans to escape.
Let me say that this second part of the book was, to me, far more satisfying and far less encumbered by the been-there-done-that happenings of the initial sequence. My only problem and it was a slightly bothersome one was the series of coincidences on which the author hangs her plot. Nevertheless, the story itself from this point on is a good one, filled with spies, brave deeds, and a final coming together that is both real and satisfying.
I liked Georgiana (the second Georgiana, anyway) and appreciated the strength and determination that led Colin to make incredible sacrifices for his country. These two are fully fleshed out, real heroes and I eventually enjoyed their story.
So, if you do pick up One Night of Passion, do so with the understanding that this is one you’ve got to stick with for a good long while, that the first part is very different from the second. And while you admire that cover, remember, it’s not really a good indication of the kind of book you’re ultimately going to get.
|Review Date:||June 2, 2002|
|Book Type:||European Historical Romance|