‘Sweet Enemy’ by Heather Snow (A Veiled Seduction Novel)

As soon as I read this book blurb on Ms. Snow’s website, I knew I was in for one very entertaining ride:

“Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates. His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs. When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford. But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.

Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess. If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.

Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can’t control…”

It tells you exactly who the main characters are and aims to pull you into the story without giving much away, yet hinting at the plots mystery as to who really killed our heroine’s father. I was very impressed with it, and it was a very good sign that the story within would be if not great, at least good. Well, let me tell you, this was not ‘just good’. This is a debut novel that should be talked about, re-read and remembered for some time. This book blurb should be included as one of the best out there.

Miss Liliana Claremont is one smart girl and chemistry is in her genes. It is her fervent wish and a dream to one day be allowed to enter the hallowed halls of the Royal Society as its member. At twenty four years of age, she is considered a spinster, and she has no intention of ever marrying. She likes her life of solitude and study and her life’s work and goal is to continue her father’s legacy as a chemist. Her beloved father was a man she revered and deeply loved until one day someone betrayed him by ending his life. She is determined to solve and finally put to rest the mystery as to who was behind her father’s death, and with only one clue to guide her, she sets on a path that will bring her much heartache and love she never could have imagined possible. All at the same time.

Geoffrey Wentworth, Earl of Stratford is a war hero who really never wanted to be an Earl, but after his father and brother die, he has no choice. With that title Geoffrey knows his duties are many and taking a wife and siring an heir is not on his priority list. His life’s work lies in Politics of the day and his passion is helping fellow soldiers that need work and housing so garnering support to pass the Poor Employment Act is foremost on his mind.

Well, try and tell that to his mother, who without his knowledge plans and invites the cream de la cream of debutante society to his home for a fortnight of entertainments. To assure his cooperation, she manipulates him by also including some of the men and their daughters that he will need in order to pass the legislature. One thing our hero most abhors is sneaky, manipulative and deceiving women, and he vows never to fall in love with such a woman. He knows that if he ever marries, the woman he chooses must be compatible with him his political aspirations, and be a good hostess as well as his partner.

From their first meeting, these two totally opposite people, and one of them with a secret that could blow in their faces, sparkle and shine. The ‘chemistry’ (pun intended) is so palpable, and sparks fly and fires ignite. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed their ‘courtship’ and the witty and humorous dialogue brought me to tears laughing.

If you’re in a mood for an entertaining, sensual and witty historical with a mystery element that will keep you guessing as to whom the ‘bad guy’ is, look no further than this fresh, exciting and very delightful novel.

‘Sweet Enemy’ gets my five quills, and I urge you to find it as soon as it hits bookstores on February 7, 2012. Welcome to my keeper shelf, Heather Snow.

*This review posted on Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine*