Pocket, Aug 2002, 6.99
In 1806 Earl Adam Hawthorne finds himself attracted to Jillian Whitney though she is reportedly the mistress of a codger old enough to be her grandfather, the Earl of Fenwick. Gossip aside, Jillian is a penniless innocent all alone except for Fenwick taking her in and caring for her as if she really is his ward; her sire was a close friend of his until he died.
Adam hears a shot and almost immediately finds he holds a shocked Jillian in his arms. Jillian tells him that someone killed Fenwick with a servant accusing her of the deed. To avoid prison she begs Adam to hide her, which he does. As they fall in love, a war wages within his mind as he wonders if once again a deceitful female has used her wiles to trick him. Still he desperately seeks proof of her innocence in the homicide as easily as he learned how innocent she was in the boudoir.
Though the return of lead characters from previous tales add a feel of homecoming for Kat Martin fans, the well written FANNING THE FLAME is an exciting but by the numbers Regency romantic suspense. The story line entertains the audience, but has no twists even with the amateur sleuth investigation. Jillian is a desperate damsel in distress while Adam is a brooding cynic skeptical about her yet unable not to be her knight in muted armor. Regency purists will applaud Ms. Martin's likable tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner