Warner, Oct 2003, 5.99, 400 pp.
Sir Geoffrey Hamelin heads home after spending four years in France to attend his sister's wedding. He meets on the ship Leah of Pecham also going home after causing a scandal by running off with a lover who deserted her. When the ship catches fire near Dover, Geoffrey protects Leah and manages to get her a seat on one of the small rescue crafts. However, he is injured not long afterward and she rescues him only to find he probably will die.
Not wanting to leave him, she takes him to her father's home, but adopts the pretense that he is her husband after hearing a peasant say so. At her family home, her brother Odo is upset with the return of the prodigal daughter because he wants everything his father owns and plans to destroy his sibling to achieve his goal. Geoffrey recovers, but has amnesia and believes his savior is his beloved wife. As he and Leah fall in love, she knows there can be no happy ending once he recovers his memory and recognizes her as a scandalous fraud.
THE IDEAL HUSBAND is a delightful historical romance starring two courageous wary lead protagonists. The fast-paced story line will grip the audience from the point when Leah helps her seasick fellow traveler until the climax. Though Odo is obviously short for odious, fans will appreciate Shari Anton's warm tale of love with honor arriving when least expected.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner