Further Than Passion
by Cheryl Holt
Kate Duncan has learned to agree with all of her spoiled cousin's wishes, rather than listen to her whine or yell. But when she asks Kate to help her catch the notorious Marcus Pelham as her husband using an apothecary's love potion, Kate firmly says no… in her own mind. To prove to herself that the potion is a sham, Kate drinks the elixir and unknowingly finds herself watching Marcus in the throes of an indiscretion. Fortunately, the evening is a dream, caused by the strange tonic she imbibed – at least she certainly hopes so.
Marcus Pelham definitely noticed the observer watching him that night. Bored with the seduction of women, he is surprisingly aroused when he realizes that he's being watched. To attempt retaliation for affecting his senses, Marcus drinks the elixir, and finds himself genuinely attracted to Kate and her virtue. But are the feelings Marcus has developed for Kate caused by the potion, or is he truly falling in love?
I did enjoy reading this book, although I must admit that I did not feel as satisfied with the story as I could have been. The characters that were mistreating Kate Duncan were just a little too malicious and just a little too unkind. Yes, there is a happy ending, but reading this book left me with an overall feeling of unhappiness because of the many injustices that Kate goes through – too many than the ending could overcome. There were not enough small victories along the way for me to feel the urge to read further; all Kate's victories came at the end. In addition, I felt that Kate and Marcus Pelham came together too quickly, and too easily, to really feel pleased once they spent time with each other. No time was invested in the development in their relationship before the seduction began; I felt that it was entirely rushed into the bedroom for the sake of sensuality.
However, there were many moments of radiance in Cheryl Holt's story, moments when Kate and Marcus had self realizations about themselves and each other. The antagonists received their just desserts in a fitting way, and Kate and Marcus had a happy ending that promised a future of love and comfort. Ms. Holt's style of writing and her story are definitely worth spending time with, and although I did not completely fall in love with the book, I could very much appreciate her talent and art.
“Can a love potion work on a notorious rogue and an innocent woman?”
March 2005, 341 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's
Kate Duncan agrees to help her young cousin land a husband, though she draws the line when she learns the foolish girl wants to use an apothecary's love potion to snag the notorious Marcus Pelham! To prove the elixir a fake, Kate drinks it herself – and experiences the most erotic moment of her life when she stumbles upon Marcus in a most compromising position. Every nerve in Kate's body sings as she watches from the shadows, but is her response a result of the potion… or the man? Luckily, Marcus is far too busy to notice Kate's spying – or so she thinks…
As the Earl of Stamford, Marcus has his choice of willing ladies to share his bed. Yet nothing has ever aroused him as much as the image of Kate watching him. Marcus tried to have a little fun with Kate by drinking the elixir – and then appearing to lose all control every time she's near. But the prank goes awry when Marcus finds himself wildly and truly attracted to the innocent Kate. As he teaches her the passionate art of seduction, will he lose his heart for the very first time?