Avon, Jun 2002, 6.99, 480 pp.
In 1858, Graham Wessit has so many woes he does not know where to start to fix them. Besides being the laughing stock of England due to a hyperbolic serialization of his misdeeds, the wealthy Graham faces a false paternity suit and the plans of his current mistress to divorce her husband and marry him. Since he inherited his title at six, scandal is his middle name.
Widow Submit Channing-Downes wears black in mourning for her late husband Henry. She adored her much older spouse though she likes the freedom that widowhood provides for her. Graham blames much of his present troubles on Henry, his former guardian. Listening to Henry's son prattle, Graham transfers his negative feelings to the widow until she arrives delivering a package from the deceased. Though Submit and Graham differ about Henry, they agree on a deep attraction between them. Unless they find some kind of compromise, the ghost of Henry will haunt any relationship between them.
BLACK SILK, a reprint of a 1991 Victorian romance (written under the name of Judith Cuevas), retains its freshness due to the strong characterizations. Readers fully grasp the motives of Submit and Graham and to a lesser degree that of Henry. Graham is the unique recipient of scorn from his peers while Submit is a bit more difficult to comprehend as she appears almost like two different people. Still Judith Ivory strikes the right chords with this powerful character study that slowly simmers the romance so that the audience obtains a realistic entertaining mid nineteenth century tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner