Reviewed by Francine
In all honesty I can say this novel was a delightful surprise. Not so much a romance novel as that of a “Suspenseful Love Story” and it was pleasant respite from the ubiquitous angst-ridden young heroines and rakish alpha males that are extremely prevalent within the Regency romance genre as a whole. That is not to say this novel is devoid of anguish, for much soul-searching and need to heal past hurts prevail for the protagonists. But what would one expect with a wounded soldier back from the wars and his mind filled with the horror of it all, and a widow at a crisis point in her life where death seems more inviting than the living hell she is subjected to. The very fact Ella has been appallingly abused and imprisoned by means most foul, one is rooting for her from the moment she sets out to escape her vile captors. Her desperate plight in not only having to convince an old friend she is sane, he too has inner demons in need of quelling if he is to be of help to her.
Whilst compromises must be made along the way as pursuit of Ella persists with factions of mean intent, life for Alex is equally as perilous as that of Ella whilst others harbour long-term grudges. What is more Ella’s escape involves finding some means to evade highways and byways; hence the route chosen draws the reader into a very different way of life, but needs must for a man of good breeding and the social whirl of the ton intrudes momentarily. With that momentary intrusion a stroke of royal luck sets Alex ill at ease, for gifts and titles are not always as one might expect. Thus reawakening desires and long-held misconceptions are faced, whilst evil doings set precedence for fear and heighten nightmare scenarios. But love does find a way through the mire and fog of lost years and imagined betrayals, which makes this novel a thoroughly engrossing, pleasurable and highly recommended read for lovers of depth driven love stories. Well written, concise in detail, Ms Knight’s characters are fully-fleshed and I have a notion I will remember them and this novel for quite a good while.