by Gabriella Anderson

February 2004
ISBN: 0-8217-7446-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Yours Always is a charming little novel about family obligations. Lady Anthea Fortesque is betrothed to Sir William Hobblesby, a country gentleman many years her senior. She has agreed to marry the sweet old gentleman because it will assist her widowed mother and four younger sisters in their genteel poverty.

When Hobblesby discovers that several items have gone missing in his household, he mentions it to an old friend, Lord Stanhope, who agrees to find him someone to investigate. Lord Stanhope crafts this favor in the form of a last bequest, and entices Colin Savernake to undertake the task with the lure of some property. Had Lord Stanhope still been alive, Colin would have done the favor out of affection for him, but as it is, the idea of rusticating for a few weeks while he solves the mystery has a definite appeal.

While is book is very charming and the characters are likeable, it is unfortunately, predictible. Of course Colin is going to jump to all the wrong conclusions when he meets Anthea. Of course William’s much-older children are appalled that he is going to remarry a gold digger. Well, you get the picture.

I was much more interested in Anthea’s sisters Violet and Iris throughout most of the book. I was also tired of the “M” that Anthea was wearing on her chest - the stoic martyr who was willing to sacrifice her youth to save her siblings. Sobbing into her bed linens at night because she dreaded wedding the old man, no matter how fond she was of him. Please, show some backbone!

I hate to be so critical of someone else’s hard work, but this book had too many elements that grate on my nerves. I like nothing better than to be swept away with a thrilling romance. Unfortunately Yours Always was not thrilling. If you want a light, uncomplicated book, for mere escapism, then by all means pick it up.

Reviewed in April 2004 by Paula.

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