With This Ring by Amanda Quick (1998)
Description: Beatrice Poole may be a vicar's daughter, but that doesn't mean she's a stranger to the darker passions. Indeed, she knows enough about Gothic heroes to have carved out a highly successful career penning "horrid novels." But now the talented authoress finds herself in the midst of an ominous adventure that rivals anything she's ever written.
Her beloved Uncle Reggie is dead, his house has been ransacked, and Beatrice suspects that the was murdered-all because of his keen interest in a fabled treasure that may not even exist. Rumors about that the Forbidden Rings of Aphrodite, said to give their possessor the most unnatural powers, have surfaced in London. Yet Beatrice needs more than rumors to uncover the truth. That's why she's braved the wilds of Devon to seek out a leading authority on antiquities and ancient legend: the famously eccentric, unquestionably reclusive possibly dangerous Earl of Monkcrest, a man believed to dabble in the supernatural. But bearding the Mad Monk of Monkcrest in his den and dangling the possibility of uncovering a fabulous artifact before him may be the biggest mistake of Beatrice's life. For suddenly she finds herself joined in an easy alliance with a man who is every bit as fascinating as one of the heroes in her novels.
Five minutes in her company-that's all it takes for Leo Drake to realize that never has he met a woman more stubborn, more infuriating... or more likely to rescue him from boredom than that alluring Beatrice Poole. So when the daring widow insists upon haring off after a mythic treasure that has no doubt lured any number of men to their doom, Leo refuses to let her go alone. Yet keeping Beatrice out of mischief-and in his arms-won't necessarily keep her safe. For somewhere in the netherworld of London, a villain lurks, waiting for the lovers to unearth the Forbidden Rings-knowing that when they do, that day will be their last.
Review: Beatrice Poole needs an authority on the Forbidden Rings, which leads her right to Leo Drake, Earl of Monkcrest. From the start, Leo knows he has never met any woman quite like Beatrice and he is most intrigued. Together they return to London to investigate the mystery of Beatrice's Uncle Reggie demise and the whereabouts of the Forbidden Rings. What they find is danger and quite possibly a love that will last forever.
I had a difficult time getting into this story. It just seemed to be to similar to other stories by Quick. Even though it was somewhat slow at parts, I did enjoy the adventures of Leo and Beatrice. All in all, a decent story if somewhat slow.
Score: 3 out of 5