Love Spell, Oct 2001, 5.99, 359 pp.
In 1871 San Francisco, Rachel Connor feels gratitude towards her spinster Aunt Edwinna for raising her at the Sommerville Towers Hotel, but also feels like a bird in a gilded cage. Rachel does anything her aunt wants of her even if it means acting dumb and pretty while never performing work at her relative's hotel except occasionally singing. Edwinna selected Rachel's fiancÚ and the niece meekly agrees to wed the older and highly respected Daniel.
Roland Connor wants to destroy Daniel and sees the vulnerable Rachel as the weapon of choice. He persuades her to sneak out to enjoy life. However, once Edwinna learns about her niece's nocturnal activities, she locks the girl in her room before Rachel causes a scandal. Rachel, now having tasted fun, uses a rope to be with her now beloved Roland. He too is in love and wonders how to inform her about his odious using of her without losing Rachel.
LET DOWN YOUR HAIR is an astutely drawn historical romantic rendition of Rapunzel. The main plot is as good as any recent sub-genre novel has produced because the audience observes the machinations of Roland vs. the innocent Rachel's growing awareness of love. A serial killer sidebar adds tension to the mix, but takes away from the prime triangle even if it tightly wraps the engaging story line together. Fans of fairy tale translations into adult romances and anyone who enjoys an Americana tale will want to read Linda Jones' fine novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner