On the shelf at 25, Olympia Wingfield has her hands so full raising her three incorrigible nephews that she hardly has time for her first love, studying ancient legends and finding clues to hidden treasure. So naturally, when a nobleman posing as a tutor and “man of affairs” suddenly appears in her library to rescue her from her current chaotic state, she more than welcomes his help, little knowing that they are both seeking the same goal. Murder, bloodline feuds, and deceptions abound in this fast-paced, sensual love story of two originals, who prove they are meant for each other, contrary to society’s expectations.
Heat Level: 3
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Review by Susan
A number of historical romance writers have explored the realm of female governesses and tutors in the vane of Charlotte Bronte’s Emma, but contemporary author Amanda Quick, the pseudonym for Jane Ann Krentz, conducts a role reversal in her novel Deception. It is the romantic hero Jared Ryder, the Viscount of Chillhurst, who plays the role of the tutor to the three young nephews of Olympia Wingfield. Being the boys tutor puts Jared in a unique position to reside on Wingfield’s property in rustic Dorset enabling him to keep a close watch on Olympia who has acquired the diary of Claire Lightbourne, the details of which are believed to lead to a buried treasure.
Olympia’s uncle had acquired the book during his travels through Europe. At the same time, Jared had been searching for the book which had been stolen from a Flamecrest ship, the company which the Chillhurst family owns and operates. Deceiving Olympia into believing he is a tutor and insinuating himself into her household provides him with more than he bargained for, and makes him and Olympia realize desires that had been dormant until their encounter.
Quick’s story is spun slowly, allowing her characters feelings to evolve and mature building an earnest bond between Jared and Olympia. Her style of writing is intelligent and keeps true to the culture of Regency England. She applies several modern traits to Olympia such as possessing an independent streak, an unconventional mindset, and an ambitious nature which had solely been reserved for men in historical England. Olympia is a member of the Society of Travel and Exploration, which would have been a guild exclusively occupied by men. There is a feminist spirit in Quick’s heroine and her hero shows a genuine understanding of his woman’s need to be her own person rather than a shadow on his heel.
Deception is a historical romance with contemporary facets that infuse role reversals while maintaining mainstream stereotypes. Quick’s hero shows the masculinity of a swashbuckler molded from Hollywood’s fantasy-making machine, and her heroine displays the femininity of a Disney-groomed princess. The story tells of two complete strangers who discover how to take risks on an adventure and to trust each other. A lighthearted fantasy with elements of mystery and erotica, Deception has a central couple who indulge the reader’s penchant for sensual lovers and happy endings. It has all the good things found in historical romances wrapped into one.