Counterfeit Kisses by Sandra Heath

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Counterfeit Kisses by Sandra Heath

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A light read set in the Regency period. You'll guess what's going to happen straight away but there are one or two nice twists on the way.
Buy? No Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
ISBN: 978-0709089964

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Stephen Holland was gullible and certainly no match for the Duke of Exton who was a proficient cheat at cards when there was something which he wanted. In this instance what he wanted was the Holland Tiara and despite all that Sir Gareth Carew could do, Holland, in his cups to the point of being unable to get himself home, lost the tiara. When Carew took the drunk home Holland blamed Carew for the loss and Susannah Holland swore that she would regain the tiara and have her revenge on Carew. Such is the fate of those who do good turns.

Susannah married and went with her husband to India. The hapless Stephen went to America to seek his fortune but Susannah was the first to return to the UK as a wealthy widow. It's not long before fate – and a little ingenuity – put Gareth Carew, the Duke of Exton and the tiara her way, but she finds that Carew is not the man she thought him to be and getting hold of the tiara is going to involve danger and occasionally farce. When it becomes public knowledge that the tiara is to be sold out of the country everyone who thinks that they might have some entitlement to it circles in the hope of being able to get hold of it.

By the time that you're a couple of chapters into the book you can be pretty sure of how things are going to work out: you don't read a book like this for the subtlety of the plot. But – there are quite a few neat twists on the way which will entertain. Susannah is, of course, impossibly beautiful, Gareth Carew impossibly handsome and virtuous (despite, at one point, announcing that he was a secret agent…) and the Duke of Exton has absolutely no redeeming features. The most balanced character in the book is Chatterji – a monkey with a penchant for dressing up.

It's an easy read, but slightly annoying in that it's set in England and written by a British writer but the spelling is American. I doubt that this is down to the author – and she's also been let down by some poor proof reading in places. It's a pity because it's not a great read, but it should be a reasonable and enjoyable one.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you will probably enjoy A Commercial Enterprise also by Sandra Heath.

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