London Tangle” by Clarice Peters

A Bewitching Hypnotist and a Cynical Rake Discover There’s More to Love Than Mere Suggestion!

Besieged with requests by social lionesses wanting to be considered au courant, Rowena Morely’s talent for hypnotism was dazzling the ton. Lord Barlow, skeptical of her abilities, watched with growing alarm as both his mother and young ward spent entirely too much time with the green-eyed charlatan.

Rowena could not resist a challenge, and Barlow’s ill-mannered cynicism dared her to hypnotize the confirmed bachelor that he would soon become enslaved in marriage.

Of course, it was all a trick, but the unsuspecting Barlow quickly discovered her spell was wreaking havoc on his mind and heart. For the woman who had ensnared him was the bewitching Rowena herself!

Lord Barlow is in a quandry: ever since he allowed the lovely young hypnotist with the enchanting green eyes place him under her spell, he is completely uncertain whether the attraction he feels toward her is the truth or just a trance.

Description: Pretty red-haired and emerald-eyed Rowena Morely is a talented hypnotist, performing for the gentle society of London that she would otherwise not have been a part of. Lord Barlow is a young gentleman who crosses paths with her when she assists Lord Barlow’s wayward young ward. Their meetings draw sparks, which is not helped when Barlow’s mother assists Rowena’s entrance into society.

It all comes to head when Lord Barlow believes Rowena has hypnotized him into falling love with her, in jest. In fact, since this is a Regency romance, his feelings toward her quite natural, but that doesn’t mean that all will go smoothly. The antics of his young ward, whom the readers discover running away from her school and crossing paths with Mrs. Morely, is a further distraction (for his mind and his heart) he does not need.

Commentary: Rowena is a fun character, as she displays a more casual attitude toward the use of her rather exceptional abilities than might be expected of her. She easily entrances a dandy who was annoying her and her escort a public inn:

After Emily undid the clasp of the gold chain, Rowena held it up, allowing the heart-shaped pendant to dangle back and forth.

It’s as beautiful as you, Mrs. Morely,” Norwood said, his esses slurring from the claret.

Can you see the slight flaw in the center?”

The dandy squinted as though trying to distinguish the flow.

Rowena swung the gold chain ever so slowly. Norwood’s eyes remained fixed on the pale pink stone.

You like me,” Rowena whispered softly.

I like you,” he agreed.

You also like the pendant,” she murmured.

I also like the pendant.”

The roast chicken is excellent.”

The roast chicken is excellent,” he replied.

You are going to sit down at your table and eat your roast chicken and not bother any lady in this room.”

I am going to sit down at my table and eat my roast chicken and not bother any lady in this room,” he agreed.

You will tell your friends that I am a respectable lady.”

I will tell my friends that you are a respectable lady.”

[amtap book:isbn=0449286975]

Recommendation: For a romance novel, and a formulaic Regency romance at that, I actually enjoyed reading it, a rather bold statement by one who doesn’t even care for romance novels. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the hypnotist as pictured on the cover is an exceptionally pretty red-head with a sort of sly smile that makes it seem as though she actually likes entrancing people.

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