Vexing the Viscount
Emily Bryan
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Vexing the Viscount
Emily Bryan
304 pages
February 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Vexing the Viscount seems almost like two separate stories running at the same time. The more interesting of these two threads is the search for the hidden Roman treasure by Lucian Beaumont, Viscount Rutland. In excavating a Roman site on his estate, he discovers reference to a huge theft of Roman payment by a freed servant, and Lucian believes the coins were hidden. He continues looking for clues assisted by Daisy Drake, who is unfortunately the daughter of his father's worst enemy and so must be kept away from his father. As he and Daisy discover more information about the treasure, we are given brief insights into a romance fourteen hundred years before and the tragedy that ensued.

The second thread of the story is Lucianís carrying out a seduction on a woman he believes is a courtesan but who is actually Daisy in disguise. This part of the story seems to be a handle upon which to hang the sex scenes but feels rather directionless. The common idea of a woman wearing a partial mask being enough to stop a man from recognizing her is just as unbelievable in this story as it is in others. I also found the willingness of Daisy's relatives to allow her to play this dangerous game extremely unlikely. Fortunately the unmasking happens early enough in the story that we are able to get on with the more interesting aspect, the treasure hunt.

Vexing the Viscount is a fairly enjoyable, if hardly original, read. The writing style, particularly with regard to the mystery aspect, suggests Amanda Quick. Lucian is a good hero and Daisy also has her charms, although I was rather unsure that the name 'Daisy' was used as a woman's name in the 1750s . This, along with a few other inaccuracies, irritated me at times, but those who like a light and fairly saucy read should enjoy this.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Helen Hancox, 2009

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