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Starlight & Promises    by Cat Lindler order for
Starlight & Promises
by Cat Lindler
Order:  USA  Can
Medallion, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When explorer Richard Colchester discovers an island off the coast of Tasmania where saber-toothed tigers still exist, he is ecstatic over his monumental find. More unscrupulous men however, are just as eager to claim the recognition. They kidnap and torture Colchester to give up the tigers' location. The only other person who knows of Colchester's discovery is his niece Samantha, whom he has tasked via letter to organise an expedition to verify his discovery.

She has managed to enlist the aid of the reclusive Professor Christian Badia, a noted zoologist and tracker who specializes in wild cats. What neither of them expects is their immediate attraction. Samantha is convinced Christian is the man of her dreams. During their long voyage to Tasmania, she sets out to convince him that they were meant to be together. Badia, however, has no intention of being tied down by a woman, no matter how tempting Samantha might be. But as she leads him into one adventure after another in their quest to rescue Colchester, Badia realizes he would be foolish to let Samantha slip away.

Starlight & Promises is well written and steeped in Victorian atmosphere and high seas derring-do, reminiscent of the historical romances of the early 1980's. Unfortunately, Lindler's leads are a bit lacking - Christian's reclusive nature has him behaving in a very boorish manner in the first half of the book. And despite Samantha's penchant for independence, she often takes very foolish risks that endanger all members of the expedition. Even so, Starlight & Promises delivers an enjoyable and adventure-filled story as well as a provocative romance.

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