by Blair Bancroft

August 2003
ISBN: 0-451-20939-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

When Major Charles Tyrone is called to Wyverne, his distant family’s estate, in their time of need, he’s not very happy with the idea that he may well inherit the whole darn thing if his young cousin fails to recover from a serious accident and the failing old Earl should pass on to his just rewards.

Also not very happy is Lady Vanessa Rayne, the ward of the old Earl, who has been running the estate quite nicely, thank you, and doesn’t need any interference from some upstart Major, no matter how decorated a war hero he may be. Vanessa has no illusions about herself – she’s no beauty, has a very handsome dowry, and isn’t about to assume that the offers she receives are because men are swept off their feet by her looks.

These two wonderful characters are destined for each other, of course. But their road to happiness is littered with “accidents”, hot bouts of temper, and the overwhelming worry that something more sinister than mere chance is at work at Wyverne. The resultant book is a delightful blend of romance and intrigue, and will sweep you into the world of the Regency with no trouble at all.

Ms. Bancroft effortlessly captures the “feel” of the times, letting us inside the workings of an estate, and its residents. All the characters are in play, from the dominating woman who knows her pompous son is destined for a bishopric, to the giddy young girl just trying her wings at attracting men. The plot is solid, and a perfect backdrop to Vanessa and Charles’ growing attraction. And this is where the strength of this book sits – firmly on their shoulders. They grow, learn, experience, and grab us with their emotions. It’s a vibrant and fun-filled glimpse into a time long ago, and I highly recommend it to any fan of Regency romances. Actually, I recommend it to any fan of romance, Regency or not. It has all the qualities that we look for, regardless of the time period. Don’t miss it. It’s a keeper!

Reviewed in August 2003 by Celia.

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