STORY: Teresa Foscari, Europe’s most famous opera singer, comes to London to make a fresh start and find her long lost English family. Her peerless voice thrills everyone—except Maximilian Hawthorne, Viscount Allerton, the wealthy owner of a rival opera house. Notorious Teresa Foscari is none other than Tessa, the innocent girl who broke his youthful heart. Yet Max still wants her, like no other woman.
Amidst backstage intrigue and the sumptuous soirées of fashionable London, the couple’s rivalry explodes in bitter accusations and smashed china. Tessa must fight for her career—and resist her attraction to Max, the man she once loved and who now holds the power to destroy her.
REVIEW: London – 1818
Maximillian (Max) Hawthorne, Viscount Allerton, is quite taken with the singing voice of a soprano, Teresa (Tessa) Foscari, a.k.a., La Foscari and LaDivinia, and he realizes that her talent is far superior to any that he offers at the Regent Opera House. Now, Max has decided to try and steal her away from the Tavistock Theater by offering her more money. She is singing at the Tavistock Theater which is managed by Bartholomew Mortimer, a rival to the Regent.
Tessa has taken the job with Mortimer as she desperately needs money. However, he is proving to be a crude and pushy man reminding her that she is actually under contract to him.
In hopes of getting to see Tessa, Max sends a note inviting her to dinner, but she accepts another peer’s invitation. Max is thinking that Tessa may be the young girl he met years ago when he was just 19. He believes that she may actually be Tessa Burkett with whom he had had an affair many years ago. When they are reintroduced, they both realize that they did indeed know each other in the past. Tessa is still attracted to him and he to her. However, her reputation as having had many high level lovers in the past makes him very angry to which she reacts with disdain.
As the Regent Opera House struggles along, the Tavistock is filled with people wanting to hear La Davinia sing. However, the fear that Tessa may not be paid by Mortimer frightens her because she did not get legal advice before signing her contract with him which may be filled with loopholes.
Max’s mother is pushing him to give up the theater, get married, and provide her with grandchildren.
Max and Tessa are truly attracted to one another but both are too stubborn to give in to their emotions. Can they learn to trust each other?
In this story, I did not like either Tessa or Max. Tessa’s tendency to throw china shows me an immature woman with no self-control. For Max to spend so much time with a struggling Opera House when he should be busy with his property, investments, and family also says he’s immature.
I have enjoyed the author’s novels in the past, but this one is not a favorite.
Complimentary copy provided by the author
Connie for b2b