by Rexanne Becnel

November 2003
ISBN: 0-312-98312-3
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Mass Market Paperback

Rexanne Becnel takes us again to Regency England and a wonderful tale of facing up to ones responsibilities and finding true love in the process.

James Linford, Viscount Farley has returned from abroad, but not alone. He has brought with him; from the Orient, his natural-born daughter. A beautiful baby with dark hair, olive skin and big blue eyes. But that isn’t the only thing scandalous about his return. It seems that not only has he taken in his daughter, but he has also taken into his house another natural-born daughter whom he has rescued from the streets. James’ randy days are catching up to him and now he is taking responsibility for his past digressions and is determined to raise his daughters as best as he can. Unfortunately, his fiancée isn’t very understanding about the situation, so she abandons him to his seedy past and to his children. To avoid being hounded by the gossips, James takes his new family to his country estate, only to find his children are more than a handful of trouble. What is he going to do about this?

Phoebe Churchill has lived her entire life in the country, taking care of her farm, her parents and also raising her abandoned niece. Her quiet life is soon disrupted when Viscount Farley returns to his estate, which is near her own humble abode. And on top of that, things are turning up missing. A stool here, a wicker basket there and the worste digression of all, someone has stolen their new puppy. Of all the nerve! When she discovers who the culprit is, the Viscount’s holy terror of a daughter, she takes matters into her own hands and demands satisfaction, but what she actually gets is a position as a governess, an attraction to a man whom she can never have and an ache that only he can make better.

This has got to be Ms. Becnel’s best book to date. Not only is the storyline unforgettable, but her choice of characters are wonderful. Phoebe and James are perfect for each other, but because of other circumstances they just cannot make a go of their relationship. Throw in three adorable little girls, a floppy puppy and several kittens, goats and chickens and you have the makings of a great romance. The secondary ‘adult’ characters are not to be dismissed either; what with a nosey, busybody trying to attach Phoebe to any eligible man in the district, the return of an ex-fiancée and a household of unhappy servants.

A definite keeper.

Reviewed in November 2003 by Debbie.

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