Berkley, Nov 2004, 7.50, 416 pp.
A desperate Penelope “Pen” Hampton returns from Naples to London seeking the protection of her trusty solicitor Julian Hampton. Pen tells Julian that her estranged abusive spouse demands she come to him so that he can impregnate her. Afraid of her husband, the Count of Glasonbury, and knowing he has the law on his side, she informs Julian that her odious spouse sent thugs to retrieve her; she has not even told her brother because she knows society will support the bruising Glasonbury.
Julian has loved Pen for years and he would risk his life, career, and place in society to keep her safe, but he also has a hidden agenda. Pen falls in love with her protector.
This historical romance emphasizes the plight of women who have no choices except to accept abuse or deal with scandal that loads the individual down as Madeline Hunter paints a grim picture of pre suffragette England.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner