THE VALENTINE LEGACY by Catherine Coulter


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Third confection in Coulter's circa-Regency Legacy romances, with a formula by now etched in marzipan: strong-minded, beautiful, unsinkable heroine; marital sex spread lavishly and in lavender; a concluding bit of mystery and suspense. Principals from The Wyndham Legacy (1994) appear here in strongly supportive roles, this time when ugly duckling Jessie Warfield, horse racer and fancier, flees from her Baltimore family to England--specifically, to Earl Marcus and the exquisite "Duchess" of Chase Park. It seems that in a successful attempt to save the life of the man she secretly loves--horseman James Wyndham, Marcus's cousin--Jessie, from her perch in a tree, had shot James's assailant and then landed indecorously atop him. Ruination, of course, as result. To escape imprisonment with a pious aunt, Jessie bolts, hoping for a nanny's job. James eventually comes tumbling after, only to find Jessie the "brat" transmogrified into a beauty--thanks to new clothes and manner. Marcus, Duchess, and the highly independent servants successfully push marriage--and then it's on to the Smoldering Scenes, as Jessie, fully in the know about the way of a stallion with a mare, needs some course corrections. Still, the happily exhausted bridegroom can't quite commit. At the close, Jessie, with the help of diaries, will involve the whole Chase Park menage in the search for the buried treasure of Blackbeard the pirate. Then, in a trip to the Colonies, the English crowd learns of two murders; Jessie is rescued in the nick from a killer; a truly horrid discovery is made in a slimy North Carolina swamp; and James finally admits to love. Without a scrap of period ambiance, and buffeted by marathon titillation, Coulter's romances, even so, have pace, humor, and, above all, a welcome cheerfulness.
Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-399-14094-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1995


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