by Mary Lennox

April 2005
ISBN: 1-59414-328-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Five Star

India, October 1842

Aubrey Drelincourte, Earl of Breme, comes to on the floor of an Indian jungle and discovers that his wife is dead. There is a pistol in his hand, but he doesn’t remember anything. What happened in that jungle? Aubrey is suffering from malaria, and now not only is he fighting for his life, but he must also fight to prove his innocence as he returns to England to face the House of Lords for his trial.

Rupert Hindley, Aubrey’s cousin and also the man having an affair with his wife, will also return to England to accuse Aubrey of murder. The only way for Aubrey to prove he did not kill his wife is to wed and produce an heir.

Lilias Merrit has no intention of marrying the sadistic farmer her father demands she marry. She hitches a ride with her gypsy friends to be Aubrey’s nursemaid. Lilias is filled with compassion and terrified at the same time of this man, whom people refer to as The Beast, due to his scars and his temper. Aubrey is smitten with his new nurse-maid, but he has to stay focused. He needs to find a titled woman to marry, someone the public will not scorn.

As Aubrey and Lilias fall for each other, they must try to get Aubrey to remember what happened and to prove he did not kill his wife. Without getting themselves killed in the process, they must also find proof that Hindley may be the real killer.

I enjoyed this book all the way to the end. I adore books from the 1800’s, and this one was no exception. Aubrey was a wonderful character to get to know. He may have had some troubles, but he kept his wits about him. Lilias was also a character worth getting to know; she tried in her way to help Aubrey, which sometimes did not quite work out the way she planned. The two main characters were believable, and at times through the book, this reviewer felt she was right there in 1842 with them.

Go out and buy this book. You will not be disappointed.

Reviewed in May 2005 by Pat.

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