A Many of Talents
Berkley, Jun 2003, 5.99, 320 pp.
Abigail Parkinson, owner of Sibel Hall, needs to sell the place, but Sir Boundefort, a ghost she has never seen, scares away prospective buyers. She writes to ghost chaser Christian Reade, whose unwanted reputation is based on debunking a spectral claim at Belles Corner. Though he prefers not to go, Christian travels to Sibel Hall as a favor to his beloved ailing grandfather.
His reception by the owner is cold as if Abigail is angry with him, but Christian finds he can't get the “Governess” out of his mind and cannot ignore her smell of lilac. On the other hand, her three live-in cousins run the gamut of welcome. Mercia hopes he finds the ghost and the reported treasure; the Colonel welcomes a fellow adventurer but believes he wastes his time; Emery the intellect treats him with disdain. However, the worst is Abigail who he badly wants to admire him considers him a miscreant though he knows not why. As he tries to uncover the mystery of the haunting and his hostess, Christian and Abby fall in love, but she has not forgiven him for forgetting that as children she was once his wench and he her pirate.
This is a fun Regency romance due to the delightful lead couple. The three “cousins” are minor irritants as readers will want to tell the trio to shut up after constantly hearing the Colonel's loud voice, Emery's sneering comments, and Mercia's inane gibberish. However, when it comes to love among the lilacs, fans will appreciate this entertaining ghost-busting romance with a pinch of suspense that comes from an unlikely source.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner