Warner, Dec 2001, 6.99, 416 pp.
In 1788, at seventeen Thea Garrett feels mature enough to know what she wants. So ignoring the advice of her older brother Tom, she falls for the charm of Lord Randall Hawley and elopes with him. On the trek north, she finds he turns ugly when things go wrong culminating with his raping her. Tom catches up to them, but Randall forces a dual and in the ensuing fight, he dishonorably murders his opponent. Before dying Tom kills Randall. A stunned Thea vows never again to trust a male.
A decade later American Patrick Blackburne visits his English mother. She informs him that someone is blackmailing her. She does not want any scandal caused by her to ruin the image of her fiancÚ. Patrick promises to see what he can do to fix her problem, but soon has one of his own when he meets and falls in love with Thea, a person he believes is a nasty pleasure seeker. Though she returns his feelings, Thea still feels guilt over her brother's death and rejects all men.
SWEAR BY THE MOON is an exciting Regency romance with an engaging, solid story line. Still readers will wonder why a teenage Thea failed to see the true colors of Randall as a bad-tempered soul even if he oozes charm to disguise his nature. His pivotal role is short so that the audience can enjoy the principal battle between Thea and Patrick. Shirlee Busbee has written a stirring historical romance starring two individuals whom the audience will like and want to see together.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner