Morrow, Mar 2003, 24.95, 496 pp.
In 1815, James Colton returns home to England to claim his estate, recover from his war injuries, and to make restitution to his family and his “fiancée”. When James was a teen he ran away from home to protest his father's insistence that he will eventually marry their neighbor's daughter Adriana Sutton. Now returning home, he sees his deceased father was right, Adriana is an intelligent beauty.
Adriana hides her feelings from James with a cold formal façade. She does not trust him with her heart as he broke it once and could do so easily again. However, James wants Adriana as his wife as he loves her and so begins to court her. Though his return is triumphant, there are those who wish he never returned starting with his odious cousin who wants the estate to Adriana's most persistent suitor, but would any of them go so far as to attempt homicide?
This enjoyable Regency romantic suspense contains all the elements that have made Kathleen E. Woodiwiss a legend among historical readers. When the story line focuses on James' efforts to prove men stay for love, readers will feel the flames of passion between the lead couple. However, an extremely exciting intrigue subplot takes readers into plenty of action, but away from covering the charming courtship. Ms. Woodiwiss does what few authors can do, provide a deep passionate love story that fans will not display any reluctance in showing their appreciation for her unique talent.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner