St. Martin's, Sep 2001, 6.99, 352 pp.
In 1808 near Oxford, Lord Gabriel Kenyon and Professor Henry Talisford finish studying the map of Africa so the tired noble goes to bed. Lying in his bed is Henry's sixteen-year-old daughter Kate who claims she loves Gabe. He tells her she must leave his room immediately, but she refuses. He bluntly tells her that neither he nor her father has time for her as they are going on an expedition in search of a fabled lost city in Abyssinia. A distraught Kate withdraws from his room due to Gabe's most noble but heart-wrenching act.
Four years later, thugs murder Henry stealing a golden statue. Gabe becomes the guardian of Kate and her sister, but the former hates him and now blames him for her father's death. Still, Kate needs Gabe's help to avenge her father's murder and regain the stolen statue. As the peril increases, that spark from four years ago ignites into a deep love, but will Kate trust her heart or the scars from her last encounter with Gabe?
With Barbara Dawson Smith's deserved reputation for strong novels, Regency romantic suspense fans will not need a second temptation to read her latest tale, TEMPT ME TWICE. The story line is exciting, loaded with intrigue, and never slows down for a breather as the plot spins to a fabulous climax. The lead protagonists are a delightful pair and the support cast includes the return of characters from previous books as well as a cunning murderous villain. Ms. Smith goes to the best seller lists as usual.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner