Pocket, Sep 2001, 6.50, 384 pp.
In 1798 Naples, English sea Captain Edward Winterworth meets Naples Signora Francesca Robin at her art gallery. They are immediately attracted to one another, but Edward acts nasty and somewhat aloof towards her believing she is just another local con artist scamming His Majesty's sailors.
When Napoleon threatens Naples, the English fleet decides to evacuate the area. A half-English person like Francesca is in jeopardy if she remains behind when the French arrive. She knows she must leave Naples immediately, but Admiral Nelson refuses to take her with the Navy, ignoring even Lady Hamilton's plea. Edward volunteers to marry her so she can accompany him. Desperate, she accepts and once married they seem happy together until the Admiralty summons Edward back to London. There he learns that he now is a Duke and no longer part of the Navy because his aristocratic rank requires him kept safe. A frightened Francesca runs away feeling inadequate to be the wife on a noble, leaving it to Edward to prove he loves her and needs her by his side.
Miranda Jarrett is known for her historical romances especially those set in the Colonial, Georgian, and Regency periods. Her latest tale THE VERY DARING DUCHESS centers on a typical Regency theme starring two likable lead characters. However, the descriptions of Naples right before Napoleon provides a rare freshness and depth that turns this into a strong Regency romance that any fan of a historical tale will fully cherish.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner