This story is set in 1660 after Charles II was restored to the throne of England after being in exile during the Cromwell years.
Prudence had led a sheltered life with her sister and aunt while her brother was in exile. She slipped outside to join the crowds watching the procession and was snatched into the arms of Lord Fox after the posy she threw landed with him instead of her Adam. Prudence has had a crush on Adam, who went away fight in the King's army; Adam, on the other hand, was oblivious of Prudence's feelings. Prudence is furious at Lord Fox's highhanded manner especially as she had been disturbed by his kiss.
Lord Fox is her brother's closest friend but she finds him arrogant and mysterious. Why would he not talk about the missing two years of his life that no one knew about? Why did he hate his cousin Jeffery?
When Prudence discovers that her brother had agreed to allow Lord Fox's suit without her knowledge, she is furious. When she calms down, she is left with the dilemma of wondering if she should marry Lord Fox out of duty or turn him down because she thinks he doesn't love her.
Prudence, I found to be a good heroine; the mixture of naivety and spiritedness blends very well. Lord Fox is a good hero but he has a dark side, which is very chilling, when we get to see how much he hates his cousin.
Undoubtedly Prudence is drawn to Lord Fox - she is wary of him but not afraid to stand up to him. I liked the mystery that went with the romance - that Lucas' cousin wants him dead and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal is quite intense and adds suspense to the love story.
My only complaint with the story, and it is a trivial one, is that the author spends too much time describing the heroine's eyes and hair. We knew early in the book how striking her eyes and how glorious her hair, therefore it wasn't necessary to have to be reminded of this in nearly every chapter.
We learn later the horrific time that Lucas suffered during the years he refused to talk about and why he hated his cousin, with good reason certainly as any reader will find.
This is my first taste of a Helen Dickson novel and I enjoyed it very much. I recommend the book and will award it four stars, dropping a star for over description.