Signet, Sep 2003, 6.50, 352 pp.
In 1803, after years of running the country estate by herself, Natalie Whittaker knows her life has recently turned dismal with the arrival of the estate owner. Life as a poor relative living under the thumb of her odious nineteen-year-old half brother Hector and his repulsive pregnant wife Mabel is unpalatable. To prove her point they destroy her rose bushes that have been cared for by her for years.
When Malcolm Chase offers her the job to replace her daughter's current cruel governess, Natalie accepts no longer worrying about the scandal and over her sibling's objection. Soon she falls in love with her employer and his precocious child while she sees what is “wrong” with little Sarah, but wonders if Malcolm's heart feels like hers.
Regency romance readers will appreciate Diane's Farr's fine tale starring two great lead characters and a charming little girl. The story line is at its best when Natalie takes center stage with either of the Chases. Hector and his wife seem too spiteful, nasty, and acrimonious to be taken seriously (classic case of children having children), although those traits propel Natalie into leaving. No question with this charming historical and her previous works, this author is going to go very far as a popular writer.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner