All I Need is You

Heart of a Warrior

The Heir

Joining

Love Me Forever

Say You Love Me

 
The Pursuit by Johanna Lindsey
(Wm. Morrow, $25.95, PG) ISBN 0-380-97855-5
***
“Love a Lindsey” used to be a common motto among romance readers. Alas, not so anymore. For a full three-quarters of The Pursuit, I was glad to see that Lindsey had found the magic touch, but the ending paled and my enjoyment waned. So, it is back to my keeper file to find a classic Lindsey.

Melissa MacGregor, (daughter of Lachlan and Kimber from Love Me Forever) is set to go to London for her season, and if luck prevails to find a husband too. The day before she leaves, she meets Lincoln Ross Burnett, Viscount Cambry. They are immediately attracted and feel destiny has found them. But love is a rocky road.

Lincoln is a Scotsman who was sent to England to live with his uncle as a result of a nasty feud with a neighboring family. He has returned for a brief visit at the request of his surrogate mother, his Aunt Henri. Although more to the story than meets the eye, Lincoln resents his mother for sending him away, and still harbors a vast hatred for the family. During a particularly nasty altercation when Linc was 11 he was savagely beaten, and when he still tried to beat up the 16 boys responsible, he was given the label of “crazy”.

And those 16 boys are none other than Melissa’s maternal uncles from the Clan MacFearson. They are a troublesome lot, all being bastards, with different mothers, raised by their father, and allowed to freely run wild. Arguing and fighting is their mode of communication. Melissa is going to London because they have scared off any beau who dares venture forth in her Scottish homeland.

So it is off to London, Melissa first with Lincoln a few days behind. They have both vowed to see the other. But obstacles abound. Melissa is being sponsored by her mother’s friends, the Duke and Duchess of Wrothson (Devlin and Megan from Man of My Dreams), which puts her out of the social sphere of a mere viscount. Once that hurdle is crossed (thanks to a social call by Lincoln’s mother), one of the uncles accompanying Melissa realizes who Lincoln is and calls in the reinforcements.

Now the fun begins. Some of the antics and most of the interactions between Linc and Melissa are charming. Ripe with humor, teasing, camaraderie, and innuendo, readers will respect Melissa and laugh at her uncles.

Lachlan and Kimber appear regularly and are fun to see years later. Lincoln’s family is barely portrayed and it seems that this lack may be one of the reasons Linc is less understood in the long run.

I found myself wishing for more depth to Linc’s character. The final quarter of the book involves the resolution to Linc’s past. It is difficult to care when he has spent the entire book defending himself, but there are no stories or family that backs up his claims. Hence how the boy became the man is missing. Although I like Linc, I am not truly sympathetic when it comes to seeing his angst eased…I just want to tell him to grow up!

Melissa is headstrong and a pure delight. She actually talks to Lincoln and demands he do the same to her. I only wish she had been firmer with her family when needed.

So much of the book is spent trying to convince Melissa’s family that Lincoln is suitable that there is little build-up of the romance. The one significantly romantic scene is great; then though the two state that they are passionate, one never sees it! They never try to sneak away or steal a kiss or anything that one imagines a pair wildly in love and lust would do. There is too much talk and not enough action.

The Pursuit is a mildly satisfying and generally fun romp, particularly the first part of the book. As for the hardcover price? My advice is wait for the paperback version.

--Shirley Lyons


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