by Shirl Henke

April 2004
ISBN: 0-8439-5242-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Upon his return from the war, Brandon Shelby Caruthers (Brand) stands in front of the ruins of what used to be the most elegant plantation house in Fayette County, Kentucky. Sadly for him, he had joined the side that lost the war. After trying for two years, he ends up losing the lands that had belonged to his family because of unpaid back taxes. As he loses his property, he finds out that he inherited an English title. He is now Lord Rushcroft. However, when he goes to England to claim his inheritance, he finds out that there is not one single penny attached to the title.

Miranda Auburn has been trying to find a good match for her young daughter Lorilee. Miranda has spent most of her life handling the business of her deceased husband and she can provide her daughter with quite a sizeable dowry, but not with a title to go with it. After watching Lord Rushcroft and Lorilee briefly interact with each other during a party, she decides that he may be the answer to the problem. Shortly after, she makes Brand an offer he can not resist.

Shirl Henkeís Rebel Baron is the second title of her American Lords series. This is the first of her historical romances that Iíve ever read and I must say I was impressed. It is rather unusual to find a romance taking place in a historical setting bearing an older woman/younger man scenario. Brand is the sort of hero we all dream of. He never gives up and social conventions do not agree with him. As to Miranda, she has been forced to literally fend for herself and her daughter from a young age and that makes her a force to be reckoned with. Despite the fact that it is a bit hard to imagine a woman in a business management position of any sort in that particular period of time, that didnít detract from my enjoyment of this excellent tale. If you fancy historical romances and havenít tried Shirl Henkeís books yet, Rebel Baron may be a good one to try. I certainly intend to read Ms. Henkeís previously published books and look forward to her upcoming title in this series.

Reviewed in July 2004 by Mireya.

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