“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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