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England's Perfect Hero    by Suzanne Enoch order for
England's Perfect Hero
by Suzanne Enoch
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Rashmi Srinivas

Lucinda and her best friends, Georgiana and Evelyn, come up with individual sets of rules to improve one gentleman each. Before long, Georgiana and Evelyn are both happily married to their subjects. Hoping for the same, Lucinda sets her sights on a charismatic rogue, Lord Geoffrey.

A wounded, tormented and taciturn war veteran named Robert Carroway surprisingly offers Lucinda his aid, in return for her help in planting a rose garden. Flustered, Lucinda reluctantly accepts. Her serenity and tacit understanding engender love in Robert, whose inner pain and past ordeals make him feel unworthy of her. Though Lucinda too feels a powerful attraction, she views Geoffrey as a more acceptable and uncomplicated life partner than Robert. As jealousy and conspiracy combine to create a volatile and dangerous situation, their feelings are put to the test. Will their love prove triumphant?

Suzanne Enoch's sensitive narrative combines with a tormented hero and a tender heroine to make a charming and unusual story. Readers will be touched by an innocent love born out of friendship, trust and compassion. At first, Robert appears the antithesis of the typical rakish and swaggering hero. Inspired by love, and overcoming his deepest fears, he improves and becomes worthy of admiration. Lucinda's conflict, between pleasing her beloved father and pleasing herself, creates a palpable suspense. Varied side characters, blazing passion, danger and intrigue complete this otherwise purely romantic story.

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