In Renaissance England, love is the most dangerous gamble.
"The embattled romance between Crispin and Sophie...will utterly delight the reader." —Abilene Reporter-News
Crispin Foscari, one of Queen Elizabeth's most trusted spies, leaves nothing to chance. So he's surprised when he's informed he has two weeks to clear his name of an accusation of treason, or face the executioner's noose.
Sophie Champion is a hero to women of London, dedicating her seemingly endless resources to helping free them from bondage to men. But when her investigation into the death of her beloved godfather brings her to the attention of Crispin Foscari, known as "The Earl of Scandal", under precarious circumstances, she is suddenly the one who needs liberating.
Even as his mind warns him to stay away from the the seductive siren, Crispin proposes a wager. Working together they pit their wits against a calculating enemy by day, and fight their searing attraction at night. As they inch closer to identifying the killer they grow closer to one another. Until finally their passion explodes—with deadly consequences.
"A writer to watch." —Publisher's Weekly
In The Water Nymph, Michele Jaffe meets the standard of steamy passion, tense mystery, and historical detail that made last year's debut, The Stargazer, such a success. In this novel, our hero, Crispin Foscari (the "Earl of Scandal"), and heroine, Sophie Champion, meet over the recently murdered body of her friend. (This is not the only similarity to The Stargazer, but hey--Jaffe knows a good thing when she sees it.) Crispin accuses Sophie of murder, but agrees to give her some time to prove her innocence. As they search for the true killer, Sophie and Crispin find their common interests extend far beyond that of a murder investigation, and some steamy passion develops.
This novel is sure to be a huge hit: its combination of suspense and passion keeps the pages flipping by at a fast enough rate to keep you cool on a Texas summer day. And did I mention the love scenes? Do not lend this one to your mother, but recommend it to your best friend, and sit back and watch her blush rise. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien
From Publishers Weekly
Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, outrageously handsome and brilliant Crispin Foscari, the earl of Sandal, who first appeared in Jaffe's The Stargazer, has carefully built a wastrel's reputation while making quite another as Phoenix, invaluable spy for her majesty, Queen Elizabeth I. Now, however, he is in a spot: he has been given only a little more than a fortnight to find the person who's accusing him of treason. Meanwhile, he is investigating a beautiful and brilliant woman, Sophie Champion, who is suspect in Elizabethan England because she has seemingly endless resources, is a heroine to the street people and may have had something to do with her godfather's death. Crispin is smitten, however, and Sophie assures him she is neither a murderer nor any kind of malefactor, but she cannot be sure that he is above suspicion. Their rollicking adventures, detailed lovemaking and spirited sparring make for a great read, despite episodes of purple prose and predictable plot developments. It is clear from the very start, for example, that Crispin and Sophie will wind up together, and there are far too many references to the heroine's "tender bud." And Sophie's station in life is a stretch of the imagination: she becomes exceedingly rich at age 16, but keeps her wealth secret; she buys an old abbey with a gorgeous room full of stained glass, and fills it with needy women. And she's beautiful to boot. Still, Jaffe's second historical romance marks her as a writer to watch. While the novel calls for a bit more suspension of disbelief than readers may be willing to give, the protagonists are captivating, and one hopes that Jaffe will focus next on Crispin's intriguing family.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.