As you all know from my review of Shannon Donnelly's first book A COMPRAMISING SITUATION, I adore her work and think she is one of the most beautiful new voices in the genre. I placed her in my "one to watch" section, but now with her second book A DANGEROUS COMPROMISE I have placed her on my "must buy" list.
In this story, we follow beautiful, pampered, and spoiled, Clarissa Dewhurst. She is full of doubts, questions and fears, and on a rather foolish quest that is bound to land her in trouble. You see, she is sure that she can only find fulfillment and peace if she experiences a Grand Passion like the ones in the novels she grew up reading. She also believes that only a rake can provide her with this Grand Passion. So, Clarissa has come to London in order to find her rake, make him fall in love with her, and the reform him. And when she finds out that her best friend's (Jane Preston) brother has plans of promoting a match between Jane and his best friend, Evan Fortesque, Clarissa is outraged and urges Jane to reject Evan, esp as this Evan Fortesque is not a rake, and is probably as boring as he is respectable.
Evan overhears Clarissa's dismissive comments about him and decides that, although he is stable, responsible, and considerate (well it might be considered boring) that he doesn't deserve to be thought of so poorly. So he decides to teach Clarissa a lesson by presenting himself as a rake, and showing her what a rake is truly like, and how dangerous he can be. However Clarissa truly does fascinate him, and Evan finds himself constantly stepping in to protect her form her own folly.
Although I didn't like this book as much as her first A DANGEROUS COMPROMISE it is still a brilliantly written, rich, and complex novel. The main problem I faced, and Donnelly probably tackled as the writer, was that the heroine in this book was a whiney, bratty, secondary character in the first novel. She did a superb job of realistically showing Clarissa's growth through the novel, but by the end of the book I still didn't like her and was, therefore, not as interested in the story.
Bottom Line: Shannon Donnelly is a magnificent writer and this book, while not one of my particular favorites, is no exception to her skill and talent.