Avon, Apr 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
With Napoleon out of commission, the year 1817 may be a very cheerful upbeat season for the Ton, but the debutants declare a marital revolution to the shock of their mothers. The young ladies refuse to marry, emulating their heroine Miss Darby, literary star of four action adventure novels. Feeling desperate, the aristocratic matrons hire war hero Raphael Danvers to confront the author with exposure in order to stop any new book from being released.
Having an estate dangled as his fee, an impoverished Rafe drops his inquiries into the Sir Codlin murder and heads to remote Bramley Hollow, the place where the books were postmarked. Unlike everyone else who believes the author is a male, Rafe thinks a female has written the tales that he admits hooks anyone to complete in one sitting. In Bramley Hollow, Rafe meets Rebecca Tate, niece of a somewhat deranged colonel. He believes she is the author, but needs to find proof. Soon he finds he enjoys the competition while falling in love with Rebecca; she reciprocates on both counts. Then there is the unknown element of someone wanting to kill Rebecca that draws Rafe even closer to keep her safe
IT TAKES A HERO is a delightful humorous Regency romantic suspense that will hook the audience with the gender duel between the lead pair. The story line is very funny as Rafe tries to find evidence while Rebecca continually taunts and trumps his endeavors to expose her as the writer. Though the intrigue that comes late is terse and ties up loose ends, fans will feel that is unnecessary as the meat of this fine historical lies with the battle of the sexes.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner