by Anne Gracie

June 2006
ISBN: 0-425-21052-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

After making the most serious mistake of her life, innocently believing that she had found the love of her life and eloping with him, Faith Merridew, finds herself literally stranded, with no money and no resources, trying to make her way back to her country and to her family. Trying to run away from a bunch of drunken brigands one night, she meets Nicholas (Nick) Blacklock, a Waterloo veteran, who is traveling throughout the Peninsula with his two best friends as companions.

Nick proves to be a Godsend, and he makes Faith an offer she can’t refuse. However, despite his extremely generous and selfless offer, Nick is determined to keep his distance and not fall in love with her … but for how long will he be able to resist?

Faith is determined to be strong and be good to Nick, to be deserving of his generosity, but his stubbornness and contradictory behavior confuses her to no end, one moment he wants her, the next he does not … what is a woman to do?

Anne Gracie’s A Perfect Stranger is her third book in the Merridew Sisters series. I utterly enjoyed the previous books and definitely was not disappointed with Faith’s story. Once more, we are treated to a couple of main characters that are beautifully engaging. The plot keeps the reader glued to every word, eagerly turning each page to unravel a touching yet sensuous love story. I particularly enjoyed Faith’s strength of character, determination, and the way she grew as a person, learning from her mistakes. Nick is a gentleman in the truest sense of the word, though at times I wanted to throttle him, despite the fact that his attitude towards Faith was somewhat justified, given the circumstances. However, his caring won this reader.

One thing that Ms. Gracie does particularly well is developing a secondary love story, with enough detail to make it interesting, yet avoiding the very common mistake of diverting the limelight away from the main couple in the story. The Perfect Stranger is not the exception and I enjoyed that secondary love story that she included. Although The Perfect Stranger is a historical romance, it is lightly laced with paranormal elements, particularly at the end. If like me, you love Anne Gracie’s stories, you should not miss this book. It definitely goes to my keeper shelf.

Reviewed in December 2006 by Mireya.

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