DEBUTY & THE BEAST
Love Spell, Apr 2002, 5.99, 351 pp.
Twelve years ago Anya Sedley was thought dead in the shipwreck that took the lives of her parents. However, she managed to find haven on the Caribbean Island of Puerta Sirena where the ragtag locals treated her as a Love Goddess. Anya returned to North Carolina high society, but has had trouble readjusting. Having run through a chain of tutors, governesses, and companions, she has earned the reputation as the Beast of Rose Hill. Her desperate grandmother wants Julian DeButy to “tame” and marry Anya.
Julian tries to teach the wild and spirited Anya how to behave in polite company. However, Anya plans to provide him special sexual lessons in her bed. As they battle for the role of teacher, they fall in love. However, Anya does not trust those feelings and Julian is bewildered by his needs for her that go contrary to his vow of celibacy.
DEBUTY & THE BEAST is an engaging early Americana romantic romp that will delight sub-genre fans with the antics of the lead female character. The story line is filled with plenty of humor, a bit of pathos, and some action. Julian is a wonderful protagonist struggling between his belief that celibacy equates to good health vs. his overwhelming desire to make love with Anya. The support cast provides a feel for the era, insight into the prime couple, and the impetus for the action. However, Linda Jones' tale belongs solely to the feral heroine who the audience will adopt as a favorite.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner