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Susannah Carleton: Twin Peril

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Signet (Paperback), ISBN 0451215885

Book: susannah carleton, twin peril
I'm a twin, so I jumped at the chance to review Twin Peril, by Susannah Carleton, and she didn't disappoint me.

Michael Winslow, the Duke of Fairfax, faces the problem of finding a wife, particularly one who desires him for himself and not for his title. He sets his sights on Deborah Woodhouse. Deborah seeks true love, and she thinks that Michael Winslow may be the one. Only her identical twin sister Diana wants nothing more than to net a duke. Diana gladly risks her dignity and reputation -- and the dignity and reputation of her sister -- to snag the title. Since the entire ton can't tell one Woodhouse twin from the other, Michael must use every method of persuasion to show Deborah that love gives him eyes to see where others are blind.

Diana provides a delightfully wicked antagonist. You just love to hate her, even as you hope she redeems herself in the end, if only for her sister's sake. Deborah stands as the perfect foil for Diana. With just enough gumption to avoid appearing mousy, she may even win the prize for my favorite Regency heroine of 2005. The romance between her and Michael develops slowly, with all of the hesitancy of a courtship carried out through a series of public balls, but the chemistry exists from the start.

I wanted to give this book a perfect rating, but the ending prevented me from doing so. For some reason beyond me, Carleton insisted on throwing in Michael's cousin, who miraculously resembles him almost as much as Deborah and Diana resemble each other. She also involves Diana in a plot to kidnap a friend of Deborah's, which for reasons unexplained, Diana believes will help her win Michael. These plot twists allow the book to end with the necessary moment of suspense, but they occur too late in the story to avoid looking contrived. Besides, one set of completely identical twins is rare enough. A second set strains belief, even in a story as delightful as this one.

Kathryn Yelinek

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