The well-toned male torso of sexy hero Ambrose Wells that emblazons
the cover of Amanda Quick's latest novel, LIE BY MOONLIGHT, is sure
to make it another New York Times bestseller. The classical
statuary image used is as seductive as any modern-day Australian
Gold Tanning Product poster. Quick knows what attracts her fans and
LIE BY MOONLIGHT delivers passion, lust, adventure, and a
suspenseful murder mystery along with a thoroughly modern
perspective on one Victorian lady's view of the relationship
between the sexes.
The privacy of the palms in the warm and richly scented
conservatory cast in moonlight creates the perfect spot for a
sizzling rendezvous between lovers that showcases Quick's mastery
at creating a steamy, sensual, and satisfying romantic scene. This
kind of writing is what has attracted millions of readers to
Quick's historical novels, as well as the contemporary novels she
writes under her own name, Jayne Ann Krentz. The pure male cover
guaranteed that lust would be found between the pages of LIE BY
MOONLIGHT, but the conservatory scene is one you'll read more than
"I thought you intended to ravish me" are hardly the words one
would expect from Concordia Glade, a teacher in Late Victorian
England in charge of four orphaned young ladies at Aldwick Castle.
In her late twenties and raised by parents who fell in love at
first sight and made some scandalous decisions to be together,
Concordia boldly pursues her feelings for Ambrose Wells, the knight
in shining armor who arrives unexpectedly at Aldwick Castle just in
time to help her and her students escape a fiery castle and a
scheme to sell orphaned girls for brothels.
Courageous, smart and independent, Concordia has an unconventional
and liberal view of the relationship between the sexes and social
rules of the day, even allowing one of her students to wear pants
inside the elegant mansion in which they are taking refuge.
Concordia encourages her girls to read novels, including "sensation
novels" and exposes them to a broad range of subjects that would
allow them to pursue careers of their own --- shocking teachings
for this period of history.
Intrigued by the small flower tattoo above Ambrose's left pectoral
and inflamed by her instant attraction to him, Concordia Glade
trusts Ambrose with her safety and that of the four girls ---
Hannah, Phoebe, Edwina and Theodora. Working together, Ambrose and
Concordia unravel a trail of scandal and blackmail to identify the
"gentleman" and other so-called respectable members of London
society who are secretly behind many unexplained deaths and
Despite the ways of the secret society Vanza, to which professional
thief turned "private inquiry agent" Ambrose Wells practices, he no
longer is "master of his passions" in the presence of Concordia
Glade. Concordia threatens his self-mastery and he doesn't care.
Ambrose openly admits to her, "There is no hope for me, is there?"
When Concordia gives herself to him for the first time, she has no
regrets and tells him, "You were the right man." Unconventional to
the core, Concordia's proposal of marriage to Ambrose defies the
decorum of the period, speaks volumes for women's liberation and
suggests that men like Ambrose Wells were not threatened by the
freethinking women who were present in Victorian London society ---
but then what man wouldn't welcome a woman who would "lie by
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on December 30, 2010