Lionel Westfall, the new Earl of Wraxham is back in Wraxham House, assuming the responsibilities of county Magistrate, and he has to deal not only with the county but also with his rebellious sons as well. Shortly after he moves back, his twin sons cause some mischief, forcing him to act as Magistrate in the case against his own sons. The witness to the boys’ mischief is none other than Sophie Bowerbank.
It has been twenty years since Lionel saw Sophie for the last time and she is even more beautiful than he remembers. Twenty years ago Sophie and Lionel had been in love, but Sophie was but the rector’s daughter and that didn’t sit well with Lionel’s father. Lionel was forced to leave. He ended up marrying someone he did not love. The last thing Sophie ever expected was to see Lionel again. She had learned that he had become a widower, but he had never bothered to visit the county since he left all those years ago...and now he is back, and with a proposition she can not refuse.
Fiona Carr’s The Kissing Gate is a rather charming Regency-set historical romance. I found myself literally glued to every page, alternately falling in love with Lionel, who truly was trying to be a good father, and pinning for Sophie, who remained faithful to him through all those years. The secondary cast of characters is delightful, and Ms. Carr did a wonderful job in meshing all of them within the plot in such a way that they enhanced the main storyline beautifully. I must say that I have a soft spot for “second-chance-at-love” stories and this one truly touched me. If you enjoy historical romances, you should not miss The Kissing Gate.