by Joan Wolf

August 2004
ISBN: 0-7783-2097-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Fighting Napoleon is straining the funds of Wellington’s army. They need an infusion of gold to help their campaign against the French. A daring mission is undertaken to bring gold to the English army.

Gabrielle Robichon owns a French circus specializing in equestrian acts. Her father used to help the English while the circus toured France. With his death, she finds that burden has fallen on her shoulders. With a select few of the people who work with her, Gabrielle plans on delivering the gold with out incident. The English sends someone to keep an eye on her and the shipment and she realizes that the trip is going to be harder than she thought. No one would think Colonel Leo Branford could fit into a circus family.

Leo Branford can’t believe what he will do to help his country. Imagine, an earl posing as a common circus employee. It will never happen. He will never lower himself to perform. He’ll protect the gold and that is it. The woman who pretends to be his wife slowly begins to intrigue Leo. Gabrielle is nothing like the women he is used to. She doesn’t need or want his help. The danger mounts and so does the attraction between Leo and Gabrielle. Can an earl and a circus performer find a common enough ground to allow their love to grow?

The backdrop of the circus is an interesting setting. Ms. Wolf’s love and knowledge of horses comes through in the descriptions of the classical riding and the horses themselves. Gabrielle is a strong female character with a heavy burden to make sure the circus doesn’t go under. It is her very independence that can become irritating after a while. Stubborn pride tends to make her less attractive. Leo is very aware of who and what he is. His arrogance doesn’t make him a sympathetic character. Even his change of heart rings a little false. The pacing of the story does move along well. The secondary characters are interesting and help add dimension to the story. Without strong and likable main characters, White Horses by Joan Wolf falls slightly flat.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Jenni.

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