Jude Deveraux has written 31 New York Times bestsellers and has often had two on the list at one time. Nevertheless, the only other one that I have read is THE BLESSING, so I looked forward to HOLLY, her latest. It's not that I was disappointed with this romantic tale, but let's say that sexy, not sweet, would be the operative word for this book. Ms. Deveraux plunges Holly into a seamy physical relationship in the second chapter and it never lets up.
The two entrants in this exhausting sexcapade are Hollander "Holly" Latham and Dr. Nicholas Taggert. Nick has taken a break from his successful clinic to rough it at a deserted cabin in the woods. He needs to be alone after breaking his engagement to a gold digger who he found was only interested in his status and family fortunes. Holly is heiress to Hollander tools, candidate for her doctorate and obsessed with restoring a Revolutionary War mansion that she discovered when she was 13 years old.
At 13 Holly not only fell in love with the mansion, Belle Chere, she also fell in love with Lawrence Beaumont III, scion of the crumbling plantation. Now, a decade later, her single-minded goal is to marry "Lorrie" Beaumont and become restorer and mistress of Belle Chere. Add to this the handsome, incognito Nick, a jealous stepsister, Taylor, a series of family legends, and in the expert hands of Jude Deveraux you have quite an exciting story --- a story that, in my opinion, could stand up quite well without all of the gratuitous sex scenes.