Illicit Passion, Stuart's second installment of the superstar Marsh family, builds on and improves even the exciting story we were first introduced to in Dangerous Liaisons. The web of deceit so intricately woven in book one grows even deeper, more tangled, and harder to control, for Michael Marsh, in book two.
I think it is fair to say the second iteration of this story is actually superior to the first. Stuart is growing as an Author and this definitely reflects in this book. Dangerous Liaisons was an excellent story, but Illicit Passion is more complex, faster paced and every bit as exciting and titillating as the first book. I will put my hand up and state I enjoyed this book even more than the first and I can't think of a higher compliment to Stuart than that.
This series does handle a very sensitive and somewhat taboo subject, that of consensual incest. Rather than tip-toe around the subject, Stuart tackles it head-on and in both books handles it sensitively and beautifully, in her writing.
Illicit Passion, set around fifteen years after the end of Dangerous Liaisons, sees an aging, yet still beloved superstar, Michael Marsh, reunited with his daughter/lover from fifteen years ago, for a tour of Europe designed to save the daughter Lisette from an evil, dominating, torturer who has ruled her life for many years.
The story is fast-paced, with a wonderful cast of ensemble characters, older than when we last saw them, but some would say no wiser. The backstory linkage to the secret book dating back to the fifteenth century, continues in this book and absolutely lifts this story far and above the run of the mill romance story.
This is a wonderful story, even better than the first. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with an open enough mind to read it for what it truly is - a story that reinforces the power of love and asserts that love really can conquer all. Five stars all the way for Illicit Passion, by Sarah Stuart.