Cindy Reviews “A Fine Deceit”
Those familiar with Devlin O’Neill’s writing will recognize the brilliance of the characterizations in this novel. The people who populate his books are people you know, and people you care about. Through his hero, he treats those who are weaker than himself with kindness, and even those people deserving of contempt are never treated cruelly. He discharges them with expediency, but still manages to leave them with a shred of human dignity, sometimes to his own detriment.
It is a gentle introduction into the erotic world that Mr. O’Neill usually writes about and it was the very first novel of its kind that I read. I’m glad I had this kind of introduction.
A Fine Deceit is a novel told mostly from the hero’s point of view. The hero is a British Captain, home from the war “across the Channel.” Captain Drake is leading his company of men when they stumble upon a gypsy camp. The gypsies offer the men an evening of wine, food, and song, and at the end of the evening, after imbibing too much wine, Drake falls unconscious, only to be awakened and seduced by a beautiful woman. He wakes the next morning thinking it had been a dream until the physical reality of what did occur becomes clear.
He soon finds out that his mysterious seducer, Rosaline, is married to Sir Geoffrey. Drake takes employment at their estate to try to determine what she is up to.
What she is up to soon becomes clear when the gossip among the servants informs him that Sir Geoffrey is very ill, and since Rosaline has not produced an heir, when the Lord dies, the lands and all the riches will pass to his brother. Rosaline is the sole support of her mother and father. Her father, having gambled away his own fortune, is constantly beleaguering Rosaline for money, and she is so desperate to appease him that she will do anything to have a child that can be proclaimed heir. That includes seducing a perfect stranger, a stranger she is now mortified to discover working as her new farrier.
The book continues with enough twists and turns to delight any fan of historical romance. You have dastardly villains, a bastard son intent on revenge, loyal servants, and treacherous schemers. There’s enough spanking and sex to keep us all happy, but not enough to scare away your mom if she picks it up to read it.
Drake is my favorite hero of all of Devlin’s books. I love his honor and his sense of humor. His scenes with the young servants, Penelope and Tarquin, are some of my favorites in the book.
The book will leave you satisfied. What more can you ask of a novel?