LISBON by Valerie Sherwood


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Like Jude Devereux and Jennifer Blake, here's another paperback-romance writer to make a hard-cover debut this Year. Sherwood packs hers full of rapine, bondage, natural disasters, and women ""made to love,"" like. . . . . .Charlotte Vayle, an orphan taken in --circa 1730--by an uncle in England's Lake District. She has only just fallen in love with stalwart Tom Westing (a sailor and sometime pirate) when she learns that Uncle Russ plans to marry her off to a landowner who believes that virgin deflowering cures ""gallant's disease."" But her elopement with Torn is foiled by swarthy Rowan Keynes, who pushes Tom off a cliff and takes Charlotte first to the altar and then to Lisbon--where he's involved in dirty work for the British politician Robert Walpole. Poor Charlotte learns to tolerate Rowan's sexual brutality, bears two daughters (the elder, Cassandra, really by Tom), and then spends five years imprisoned as a madwoman when her husband catches her with the miraculously returned Tom (who, assuming Charlotte dead, heads off to mine diamonds in South America). Some 15 years pass as Cassandra grows into the image of her mama, whom she traces in Lisbon and finds under a black wig, the wife of a Spanish lord. The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 will do in the Spanish lord (as well as all the novel's other villains), leaving Charlotte free for Tom, and Cassandra ready to settle down with a Cumberlander named Drew. A garage sale of a book, with just about every romantic clich‚ one can think of thrown in. The author dedicates the whole silly megillah to her cat.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1989
Publisher: New American Library