Avon, Jun 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1881 Kitty Robertson is awed by “Poseidon” swimming off the Cornish coast. However her desire makes her feel guilty as she detests any notion that she might be promiscuous like her biological mother. It is her adopted parents who are her role models.
Duke Richard Stanbury sees Kitty and decides he wants her as his mistress. However, he is shocked to learn that she is engaged to marry his best friend Farthingham, who he knows will never make a proper mate for the visiting American. As Richard pursues Kitty, they fall in love, but her loyalty remains with her fiancé. That remains an obstacle though Richard knows Farthingham's secret that he swore to keep even after Farthingham apparently dies and her beloved is accused of murder.
This entertaining Victorian romance is a delightful character driven tale though the mystery of Farthingham adds intriguing suspense. Kitty is a wonderful protagonist struggling with her growing attraction to Richard that feels wrong yet right vs. her long term friendship and caring for Farthingham. Richard also has his demons to slay as he detests the frivolous Americans who barter cash for a title. The support cast augments a fine novel that has a delightful twist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner