Author: Heather Snow
Format: Paperback, E-book (384 pages)
Publish Date: February 2012
Blurb from Amazon:
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...
Just from reading the blurb, you know that this isn't going to be your average Regency romance. I've been meaning to read Heather Snow's books for some time, and where better to start than at the beginning! Sweet Enemy is the first in the Veiled Seduction series and is also Snow's debut novel -although you would never know by reading it!
Liliana Claremont is certainly not your average society miss. She's a brilliant chemist, and has continued her father's work in studying chemistry. But when she unearths new information about her father's murder, she will stop at nothing to find her answers. Liliana is a very likeable character, she's strong, independent and intelligent. She has a very inquisitive and scientific mind, shown throughout the book with many scientific references, which lent an authentic feel to Liliana's character.
Geoffrey is a rather refreshing and original hero. Once he begins to get to know Liliana he listens to her opinions, and treats her as an equal. He's interested in her as a genuine partner in life and appreciated her for the qualities which many frowned upon in this era. It also helped that he was handsome and honourable, determined to make changes in the country to help the poor- particularly to help the plight of soldiers left unemployed and starving after the war.
Their chemistry was immediate and wonderful! The love that grew between them didn't just stem from physical attraction though, it built as they came to understand each other's characters properly.
The mystery of Liliana's father's murder was wonderfully crafted. It blends superbly with the romance, and keeps you guessing.
As Liliana and Geoffrey's relationship grew, Liliana's guilt about keeping secrets from him also grows. I felt so bad for her but you also understand why she can't let it go. Honesty is one of the traits Geoffrey values most, so you just knew it was going to be heart breaking when the truth came out!
Heather Snow's debut novel is a fabulous read, with humour, mystery and suspense injected into it. It kept me guessing, and kept me reading far later than I should have been! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series!