Elizabeth Hoyt: The Serpent Prince

Viscount Simon Iddlesleigh is beaten and left for death in a small English village. Lucy Craddock-Hayes finds him and nurses him back to health. They fall in love and get married, but can there be a happily ever after for them when Simon has so many secrets and just as many enemies?

Has it ever happened to you that you were utterly enthralled, fascinated and enchanted by a fictional character, even when you knew that, if you met such a person in real life, you'd want to throttle them and/or kick their behind just to instill a tiny measure of common sense in them? (Maybe one could call this the "Lymond Syndrome"). Anyway, Simon is just such a character. I adored him from the first to the last page of this book, even when he acted stupidly and without any sense. If a fictional character can have charisma, he has it. In spades. Enough to spare for a dozen other romance novel heroes. And let's not dismiss Lucy. I liked her; she's smart and sensible and displays an admirable lack of hysterics, TSTL behaviour and can admit to having made a mistake without beating herself up about it for days and weeks on end. Also, she knows what she wants - most of the time - and has the ability to act - rather than simply react to other characters' actions. This is a very good book (Grade A).