Reading Order: 1
Evening Star, formerly titled Sweet Surrender, first appeared in 1985. Now this novel is where it belongs - it's the first book in what has become the Star Quartet. In Midnight Star, the first book in the former Star Trilogy, you met Delaney Saxton in San Francisco in 1851. Evening Star features his older brother, Alex Saxton, with Delaney making a cameo appearance.
Giana Van Cleve, the heroine, has fallen in love with a vicious fortune hunter. Her mother, the renowned shipowner and builder Aurora Van Cleve, is desperate to save her daughter. She agrees to support Giana's wedding if Giana agrees first to spend an unusual three months in Rome with her Uncle Daniele.
But Giana's uncle takes this bargain far beyond what Aurora ever imagined.
Thus, Giana first sees Alex Saxton not in a society drawing room but in a brothel. The next time she sees him, she is one of the virgins to be sold to the highest bidder at the infamous Roman Flower Auction. He wins the bid and her, but not for long.
Four years later, when Alex meets Giana again in London, she has become a woman intent on success in a man's world. Alexis set on revenge - he will have her and nothing will stop him.
Would you make Giana's bargain with Daniele? Would you keep the bargain? Agree to be part of the Roman Flower Auction? Let me know-
Evening Star (originally titled Sweet Surrender) became, appropriately, the first book of the Star series because Alex Saxton is Delaney Saxton's brother. In Midnight Star you continue with Delaney Saxton.
Reading Order: 2
Midnight Star, the second of the four Star novels, came out more than ten years ago. I have not rewritten it. This is the story of Delaney Saxton, a man who struck it rich in the California gold rush of 1849 and stayed to build a great city, and Chauncey Fitzhugh, an heiress from England who travels to San Francisco to avenge her father. She believes Delaney Saxton ruined him and plans to destroy Saxton in the same way he destroyed her father - leaving him betrayed and penniless.
But her prey isn't what she expected. He is charming, too handsome for his own good, rich - and elusive as a wisp of smoke. As for Chauncey, as bright and creative as she is, she can't come up with a plan to ruin him financially until, quite by accident, she is hurt and ends up in his bed and in his care. Naturally, one thing leads to another.
Chauncey gains what she wants, but soon the tables are turned. These two strong-willed people must overcome their distrust of each other and deal with a relentless killer from halfway across the world.
You'll also meet Brent Hammond and Saint Morris, the two lovely men from the final "Quadruplets" - Wild Star and Jade Star.
If you missed Midnight Star a decade ago, do try it now and let me know what you think of this adventure that has more surprises than a cat has whiskers.
Reading Order: 3
Wild Star is the third of the Star novels that first appeared eleven years ago. I have not rewritten it. It is, however, wearing new clothes, but it's still the same story that will have you forever guessing what's to come next.
There are men and then there are MEN, and then there's Brent Hammond, a gambler who's handsome as sin, distrustful as only a betrayed man can be, and wilder than an unbroken stallion.
When he meets Byrony by chance in San Diego, he can't help himself - he's charmed -until he sees her again in San Francisco as the petted wife of an older rich man. All his distrust and cynicism come out, and he treats her very badly indeed. He fights as only a man can who's willing to do anything to keep himself protected. Until her life is threatened, and he is the only one to protect her.
Byrony is innocent, honorable, and more alone than a single star in a black sky. She is caught in a web of deception that will kill her if she can't escape it. She also has fallen in love with a man who despises her one minute and tries to seduce her the next. What she does shouldn't really surprise you because you'll see soon enough that she has guts.
This third "quadruplet" is as sprawling and colorful as a Medieval tapestry, with familiar characters from the other Star novels as well as new characters to both enchant and infuriate you.
Let me know what you think of Wild Star.
Reading Order: 4
Jade Star, the final novel of the Star series, first appeared in May1987. I haven't rewritten this novel; it's just wearing nice new clothes. Saint Morris has always been my favorite character among all the wonderful San Francisco men. He is fascinating, honorable, and sexy - the perfect hero.
Saint first meets Juliana DuPres on the island of Maui when he is a very young doctor, just landed off a whaler, and she is the fourteen-year-old daughter of an impossibly puritanical minister. When he leaves Maui he takes her girl's heart with him.
When Saint sees Juliana again it is four years later and she is being sold in a Barbary Coast slave auction in San Francisco. He saves her, then returns her to her parents on Maui.
But there is no welcome home for Juliana. She is an outcast, reviled by her family, considered no better than a prostitute.
What is Saint to do? He does what any honorable man would do - he marries her and takes her back to San Francisco. He likes to think of himself as her protector and her brother. Juliana has other ideas. Now their adventures begin.
In Jade Star you will see again the full cast of characters from the other San Francisco novels. I do hope you'll write and tell me which are your favorites.