“And Only To Deceive” & “A Poisoned Season”, by Tasha Alexander

I’ve never tried to review two books at the same time so please bear with me. “And Only To Deceive” is the first book in a historical/romance/mystery series featuring Emily Bromley. In this first entry, Emily is left a young widow albeit rich and titled widow when her husband dies while on Safari. Emily it turns out, barely knew her husband and is the first to admit she does not mourn him all that much. However, after his untimely death she seeks to know him better and embarks on an adventure that will lead her to realize there was much more to Philip than she ever realized, including his deep love for her. While she is busy unearthing the mysteries of Philip’s life Emily becomes acquainted with his best friend Colin Hargreaves who she suspects may have been involved with Philip in art forgeries. There is so much in this book to love. Emily’s character is wonderful. The reader cannot help but feel empathy for her situation as she begins to fall in love with her deceased husband through reading his journals, yet unwilling becomes more and more attracted to the inscrutable Mr. Hargreaves. Tasha Alexander also writes with great historical accuracy about issues during the Victorian era such as etiquette, and more serious things as art forgery rings. The second book in the series “A Poisoned Season” picks up where the first left off. In this entry, Lady Emily comes to London for the social season and is immediately thrust into a mystery involving a possible heir to the French throne and a rash of burglaries involving a thief obsessed with Marie Antoinette. The relationship between Emily and Colin continues most satisfactorily in this book and once again the reader is sucked in to the dizzying world of the Victorian era. I have to thank author Deanna Raybourn for talking about Tasha on her blog. Anyone who likes this particular genre(s) will love the adventure of Emily Bromley. And best of all the third book: “A Fatal Waltz” is coming out May 20, 2008!

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