Avon, May 2002, 5,99, 384 pp.
Mrs. St. Denis and her grandson Noel, CEO of the Treme Corporation, hire Taylor Gallery to appraise the family art collection. Lyrissa Rideau, an assistant at Taylor, is especially pleased with the assignment because she has a personal interest. She believes that the ancestors of the St. Denis brood stole a valuable painting from her family. Lyrissa plans to get it back.
While checking into the St. Denis collection that is not fully catalogued and is spread among the extended family, Lyrissa finds Noel courting her though she rejects his advances. Noel is stunned, but he is beginning to believe in love at first sight, as he wants Lyrissa at his side. Overcoming unbelievable barriers, Noel and Lyrissa fall in love, but she wonders what will happen to their relationship when he learns how she manipulated the St. Denis and the prize she covets for her family.
Though the obstinate Lyrissa slows down the romance, her resolve enables the reader to better understand what motivates her. The story line engages the audience as the agendas of the secondary characters pop up whenever it seems as if the lead couple is taking a step closer to intimacy. Noel is a warm, compassionate person, perhaps a bit too perfect, as he patiently tries to get his beloved to see that they belong together. Lynn Emery furbishes a wonderful multicultural romance that emphasizes the depth of the female lead character's quandary between her heart and a lifetime of lessons about the ignoble thieving St. Denis brood.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner