by Blair Bancroft

March 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20825-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Regency England – a land of wealth, splendor and one which had been, until very recently, at war with the “ex”-Colonies, where Miss Abigail Todd has spent her entire life. When informed of a legacy from a long-lost relative, Miss Todd packs her trunks, her companion and her preconceived notions and sets off to claim her inheritance. Which is being held in the capable hands of Jared Verney, Earl of Langley.

Yes, it’s a “Regency” romance all right, but if you’re expecting a heroine along the lines of a pert miss, full of high jinks, then think again. This is a richly textured portrait of an amazing woman, who is strong enough to defy not only the Earl, but many of the traditions and practices which surround him.

Jared himself is a wonderful hero, strong, acting exactly as he should on all occasions. And thoroughly confused by the delectable and outspoken Abigail. Their quest together to fulfill Abby’s late aunt’s request, leads them down twisting roads of fun and adventure, and they learn much about their own feelings along the way.

I was completely and utterly seduced by this book. The romance is sweet – a mere kiss between our lovers – but written so that the heat between them underlies each exchange, and requires no more detailed description. The plot is exquisite, a sparklingly innovative, perfectly executed piece of craftsmanship. And shining above it all is Abby. Educated, forthright, honorable, she does her best to maintain her American beliefs, even when confronted with the best old England has to offer, namely Jared himself.

I heartily recommend this story to Regency and non-Regency fans alike. There is something in it for everyone. It is books like this that restore our faith in the Regency genre, because it sets a wonderful tale and superb characters against the backdrop of what was surely one of the most fascinating times in history. And it does it all without a trip to Almack’s! If you want romance, excitement, and a story that will hold you spellbound, you have to read this book!

Reviewed in June 2003 by Celia.

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