DREAM LOVER by Virginia Henley


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 In historical romances, where sex ranges from a premarital chaste kiss to a velvetized version of down-and-dirty, British veteran Henley weighs in at the erotic end. For her first hardcover, she titillates with sex talk, incorporates common parlance for intercourse, and calls some sex organs by their less-exalted names. Henley's devilish hero, Sean O'Toole, the Earl of Kildare, has an ax to grind, it seems. Framed for the murder of his brother, Sean is sentenced to ten years' hard labor aboard a convict ship. His poor mother, meanwhile, has died of grief. Escaping after five years, with hardened muscles and considerable resolve, Sean vows to destroy not only Montague, his brother's murderer, but Montague's free-spirited daughter Emerald, who first enchanted Sean when he saw her swimming on the back of a dolphin. So he kidnaps Emerald, who's married to a man she doesn't love, her wild Irish spirit having been beaten down into tepid Englishness by her cruel father and her terrible governess, Irma Bludget. (Emerald's Irish mother was beaten and left for dead by Montague; she's now gone back to Ireland and opened a brothel.) Sean carries Emerald off to his reclaimed estate, Greystones, with the intention of impregnating her and sending her back to her husband and father with his bastard in her belly. But, naturally, the two fall in love. While they have great sex on his extremely clean white sheets (the prison ship gave him a taste for fresh linen and double-starched shirts), Sean heals his wounded heart, Emerald finds sexual and spiritual heaven with her Irish Prince, the villains are trounced, and Emerald's mother gives up the brothel and is reunited with her daughter. A few sordid moments, but should satisfy romance readers who like their stories sensuous. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-31813-8
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1996


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