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Forced to leave her home in the vicarage, proud and resolute Olivia Sherwood has hired on at Ravenwood Hall, where preparation for the new earl's arrival is underway. At first glance, Olivia stands transfixed by the dashing gallant with eyes dark and gleaming in the moonlight. Though his origins are shadowed in secrets, and Olivia knows better than to trust a man she's never met, she is intoxicated by him.
Crossing the threshold of his new home, Dominic St. Bride, the Earl of Ravenwood, sees suspicion in the faces of everyone surrounding him--for his staff knows of his illegitimate birth and dubious background. Yet, the radiant face of a beautiful servant intrigues him. Although the familiar wariness flares in her eyes, Dominic senses a smoldering desire there as well, and he determines to claim her. But can his passionate soul win the unlikely devotion of a defiant maid--thereby redeeming him with her unconditional love?
The vicar's daughter is reduced to working as a maid at Ravenwood, yet one other is considered even lower by the community - the Earl himself, gypsy bastard Dominic St. Bride, in One Moonlit Night by Samantha James.
Olivia Sherwood's family loyalties - to the memory of her father, murdered by a gypsy, and her sister, Emily, devastated by the tragedy - are tested by her growing bond with Dominic.
The villagers' intolerance toward gypsies translates into contempt for Dominic, adding to Olivia's dilemma. Bigotry and intolerance may transcend cultures as James and Isaacs demonstrate this month, but both authors prove that through individual relationships, hate can be overcome by love. A profound message in any season.
Sandy Huseby reviews and writes from her homes in Fargo, North Dakota, and near Nevis, Minnesota. She is online at Shuseby@aol.com.