RULING PASSIONS by Susan Crosland


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All's fair in love and politics as the American-born author (who married a British Foreign Secretary and now writes a political column for London's Sunday Times) whips up a frothy mixture of sex, scandal, and dirty dealing among members of Parliament and the rather scruffier Fleet Street reporters who cover them. Daisy Brewster, daughter of a Philadelphia banking family with a yen to become a sculptor, feels flattered but uneasy when her boyfriend, one of America's up-and-coming New Right intellectuals, proposes marriage. Deciding instead to spend a year in London on her own, Daisy soon lands a job on a right-wing newspaper whose editor, Benjamin Franwell, makes use of sly innuendo and nasty rumors on his op-ed page to bait and influence Parliament's powers that be. He also tries to seduce Daisy, who carelessly rejects his attentions in favor of a young, upper-class MP with whom she's fallen in love. What Daisy doesn't realize is that Franwell never forgets an insult. Ten years later, when Daisy's husband becomes Britain's new Defense Minister, Franwell goes for his throat, attempting to dirty his reputation sufficiently to have him replaced with Franwell's own ambitious lover, the female Labor Minister. Against an amusing background of intrigue, universal backbiting and routine adultery, Daisy manages to maneuver her way through London's high-society waters despite Franwell's editorials, until she faces a seemingly insurmountable dilemma: Dairy's ex-boyfriend has become the US Secretary of Defense; and as she finds herself once again drawn to this brilliant, charming man, it seems Franwell will uncover a scandal big enough to wreak major havoc after all. Inside knowledge of British politics and society, both high and low: a naughty and refreshingly savvy read.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1990
Publisher: Henry Holt