Signet, Mar 2004, 6.99, 352 pp.
During the Napoleonic troubles, widower Viscount Rockford earned the reputation as a great diplomat, but he will need all his honed skills with his two sons that he rarely sees as he is too busy saving the country and besides he doubts he even sired either of them. He becomes quite upset to learn that Alissa Henning, a widow with two children of her own, has kidnapped his five year old son William. He races to his home from London to rescue his younger child only to find the lad is quite happy living with Alissa and her family after being neglected in Rockford's home.
Rockford sees Alissa as the solution to his personal problem as a mother to his two boys as he plans to bring his oldest the ailing twelve year old Hugo home. Alissa has a secret counter plan as she agrees to marry the Viscount since she needs protection and money to raise her children and to support her seventeen year old sister. Her strategy is to win his heart so that their extended families are raised in a sea of love.
This is a fun Regency romance due to the lead female protagonist who teaches the hero that international diplomacy is important, but so is taking care of family. Readers will feel for Rockford's two sons raised away from him until he brings Alissa into his life. Though somewhat by the genre rules, readers will find Barbara Metzger's latest historical simply bliss.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner