Avon, Nov 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
The malaria fever he first caught in India returns so Eric Ford leaves a London dance he was attending to walk home. Camille Croft, who has loved him since childhood, informs her brother Miles and Eric's brother-in-law that before he left he looked very ill. They chase after Eric because they are concerned and want to insure he gets home all right. Near his home, a man offers Nell for a night to Eric. Needing to lie down, he takes out his wallet, but the man hits Eric and steals his money just as Camille and her brother arrive. As Eric recovers, Nell stays with Camille.
Eric knows he is too old and too ill for Camille, but he begins to fall in love with her. Nell's cousin attorney Dana Bartlett courts Camille in front of a jealous Eric. When he feels fully recovered, Eric decides to tell Camille he loves her. They agree to marry. At the party where they plan to announce the upcoming nuptials, Nell poisons Eric. She abducts Camille and takes her to Lord Dearborne, a nasty individual seeking revenge against Eric and others for exiling him years ago.
RITA award winner Edith Layton known for her “C,” Regencies provides her fans with a fine romance focusing on a warm male protagonist falling in love with a caring woman whom he always treated like his little sister. The support characters add depth to understanding how Camille and Eric feel about life and each other. Though the final abduction of the heroine adds unneeded suspense, readers will be glad to have read a wonderful tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner