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Honest Illusions


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Romance, magic, jewel thieves, and revenge combine in this pop novel to provide readers with pure escapism. From love to political intrigue, everything but the kitchen sink appears in a tale that spans three decades. Though a quick read, it features overblown and often flowery prose that may derail readers of Danielle Steel, Janet Dailey, and LaVyrle Spencer. On the other hand, Roberts's fans will be clamoring at library circulation desks; all the tried and true elements found in Sweet Revenge (Bantam, 1988) and her other paperback romances are also present in her first hardcover. Recommended where Roberts's works are in demand.-- Sue Mevis, Ludlow Memorial Lib., Monroe, Wis.

Roberts ( Hot Ice ; Sacred Sins ) combines conventional elements--sizzling sex, a cunning villain, a captivating story, some tugs at the heartstrings--then adds a twist (the good guys are criminals), and the result is spellbinding. Max Nouvelle is the patriarch of a family of magicians and jewel thieves made up of Lily, his partner in love; Roxanne, his headstrong, beautiful daughter; and Luke, the abused runaway Max had taken in years ago, now a charming young man. They join Max in elaborate performances onstage and in equally elaborate robberies. For years Roxanne and Luke battle constantly, but as young adults they finally realize they are deeply in love. Luke, haunted by the fear that his past will hurt his adopted family, is the target of coldblooded Sam Wyatt, driven by a vow of revenge on the Nouvelles. Luke returns from a forced five-year disappearance for the biggest performance of the Nouvelles' career--a simultaneously executed grand heist and act of vengeance. Although Roberts's deft narrative shows occasional excesses (mostly of description and stereotypical characterizations), none of these will deter the reader from taking this diverting journey into a world of magic, passion and mystery. BOMC featured alternate. (July)

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