Leisure, Dec 2002, 5.99, 342 pp.
In 1818 London, Cynssyr does not believe in love though he plans to marry a beauty as demanded by his responsibility as a duke. Currently he courts Emily Sinclair. Her sister Anne, just coming out of a sick bed, decides to protect her sibling from the unwanted attentions of this rake. However, fate intervenes when Cynssyr is caught in a compromising position with the rather clumsy Anne, the “Angelic” Sinclair with the spectacles. Still, Cynssyr does the right thing and marries Anne.
To his surprise, Cynssyr finds making love to his spouse quite enjoyable, as he cannot get enough of her in and out of bed. He also realizes how intelligent his wife is. Anne knows she loves her husband, but doubts he will ever reciprocate the feeling; she does not compare favorably to Emily or Katie Forest. She also realizes he is much deeper than the womanizing cynic he portrays when he tries to end the kidnapping of young women by an unknown assailant. As he concludes that he has found a jewel, he decides he must properly court his wife to win her love though he believes she loves someone else.
Though the theme is the classic Regency of an innocent female forced to marry a seemingly hedonistic rake, Carolyn Jewel keeps the plot fresh through a deep cast and the who-done-it. Fans will take delight in how Anne “ruins” Cynssyr for anyone but her. The secondary characters provide depth to the lead protagonists and several deserve their own tale be told. LORD RUIN is the perfect holiday treat for sub-genre readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner