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Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hero: Daniel Bishop
Heroine: Kathleen Kendon
Date of Publication: February 1, 1990
Started On: January 16, 2016
Finished On: January 17, 2016
36 year old Daniel Bishop is a financial magnate heading his family business, on the verge of getting hitched to a woman of his mother’s choosing. Daniel remains a bit removed from the machinations of his formidable mother, whose most recent of problems has everything to do with her grandson Todd getting engaged to a woman who is the farthest thing from the impeccable background that she would have chosen and accepted within the folds of her family.
23 year old Kathleen Kendon is unwittingly drawn into the drama that is the Bishop family through Todd, Adelaide Bishop making it clear in too many ways to count that her “engagement” with Todd wasn’t accepted. At all. However, Kathleen is one made of sterner stuff and one who has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to confrontations of the nature. Having being brought up as a State ward in a small orphanage, owing to the death of her parents at a very young age with no relatives to speak of, Kathleen is more than able to stand her ground where the elder Bishop is concerned. But when it comes to Daniel, well, that is another story.
Daniel’s engagement to the female version of himself should have been reason enough for Kathleen to cease thinking about him. But, for the very first time in her life, Kathleen finds herself confronted with desire of the kind that she cannot turn away from, the kind that she knows deep inside, spells trouble for her heart and soul.
Daniel himself is drawn to Kathleen on a level he would rather not be, having learnt his lesson the hard way, years back. But Kathleen answers to a need inside of him that grows stronger each passing day, until all of it comes to head with a satisfying conclusion at the end.
Susan Napier is one of those authors that any fan of romance that clamors for angst and unpredictable storylines must read! The Love Conspiracy had the sort of storyline that signaled to me that all wasn’t what it seemed to be. But when all was said and done, I couldn’t have imagined that things would turn out the way it did. That was enough reason for me to fall in love with the story.
Daniel’s character was by far the most complex. There is a hidden facet to him, the tiger that lies in prowl, ready to spring into action the minute it needs to, that catches you unawares. Daniel tamps down his wild side in the ruthless manner that is required of him when he takes the reins of the family business. But that doesn’t mean that the passionate side of him has been taken completely under submission. No. And Susan Napier shows us in one delicious scene after another, how wrong we can be in our initial perception of a character.
Kathleen was a feisty heroine, who drew the hidden facet of Daniel out and made him embrace it once again. There is a fire to Kathleen’s character that makes people be drawn towards it. The reason I loved her was because she is not afraid to look deep into herself and accept it when she is at the wrong end. Given Kathleen’s young innocence, it is a given that she wouldn’t react very well to the possessiveness that grabs a hold of her when she embraces her burgeoning feelings towards Daniel, which is not made easier by the fact that he is engaged to another woman, who is far more suited for him in the eyes of everyone else. I loved the bits where Daniel talked to her, tried to make her understand and see things from his point of view. And I loved Kathleen for trying.
Final Verdict: Sizzles your nerve endings with wanton longing!
‘Ah,’ Kat nodded sagely. ‘You like your sex dressed up. I bet you insist on having the lights off, too. Or do you close your eyes in case you see anything nasty? How do you know you’re not asleep? How does she know?’ She laughed, exhilarated by the brief flash of temper that penetrated his coolness, and the novelty of saying such wicked things with impunity. He was asking to be shocked.
‘I’m very articulate. I tell her.’
‘W … what?’ Kat’s laughter died in her throat. Her eyes widened on his bland face.
‘I like to describe what I’m doing, and what it feels like, and what I want her to feel,’ he continued in the same soft, measured voice. ‘Most women find it … instructive … as well as arousing. I don’t, however, talk in my sleep.’
‘Don’t crowd me, Daniel-‘
‘The hell I will! I’ll do more than crowd. You’ve had your fun tonight, Kathleen. Now it’s my turn .. .’
There was a rough, cold, aggressive passion in the threat that prompted her to struggle until he put his mouth against hers. The contact burned so much that the recoil was instant and mutual. There was no sound but Kat’s ragged breath. Daniel wasn’t breathing at all. Oh, dear heaven, no! was her last thought before the face above her cleared of its dark, rigid shock and displayed instead a hungry curiosity that swept resistance before it. The second kiss was equally tumultuous, but this time there was no drawing back. The thrust of his tongue in her mouth allowed no polite preliminaries; it was a furious battle for ascendancy, Kat’s arms rising stiffly to lock around his neck, her fingers sliding up into the thick black hair at his nape as he wrapped her breasts and hips against his lean hardness. His hands spanning her waist, Daniel suddenly swung her around, pushing her backwards over the thick carpet until Kat walked into the side of the padded brown leather couch half-way across the room. He arched her over the high back, tipping her hips into his until she gasped into the dark, echoing cavern of his mouth.
Belatedly she began to struggle, to deny his conquest, hands tugging helplessly at his iron wrists as his hands contracted around her sweetly aching breasts. Watching the frantic passion of her struggles, Daniel felt a bolt of pure energy explode inside him, generating immense’ heat. Colour poured into his face as a groan tore loose from the cramped vault of his chest, his eyes closing as he bent his head, no longer laughing, no longer triumphant, suddenly as helpless as she against the physical onslaught, a violation of mind and will.
His mouth parted fiercely against hers, his hands on her breasts no longer subtle and skilled but rough and eager, seeking to assuage the need generated by blood boiling violently through his heart and loins. His body moved against hers as if he would merge them through the constricting cloth by sheer force of desire. A tremble began to shiver through Kat’s body until she cried out with the agony of building tension. He swallowed her cry, driving more deeply with his demanding tongue, a searingly graphic representation of the act that, in their minds, was already taking place.
She arched against him, trembling, and his groan was muffled against her skin as his hands moved druggingly over her.
‘Daniel yes .. .’ he corrected her in a rasping whisper, moving his lips against her bare shoulder where the torn strap had fallen away. He tugged at the stretchy fabric, pulling the damaged edge down over her white cotton bra. Her nipple was a dark point against the thin white cotton. He found it with his teeth as he cupped his hand around her lush fullness, his thighs tightening around her trapped leg, forcing her hips into intimate contact with his potent maleness. Kat’s fingers dug into the taut muscles ridging his waist as he roughly pulled aside her bra and began to suckle the creamy flesh beneath.
She was awash with pure sensation, the slide of silk beneath her, the brush of his sweater against her sensitised breasts and belly, the musky male scent of him seducing her willing heart and mind. .
‘That’s right, kitten … burn for me, ache for me .. .’ he whispered as he nipped her skin. ‘This is what I’ve been thinking about all day, why I couldn’t concentrate … I was thinking of you, waiting for me in my bed … But we’re not going to hurry. We have all night, and the first time should always be slow and easy . . . a glorious, long-drawn-out agony of sighs.’
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