Avon, Oct 2003, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1899 penniless widow Kathryn Bright Goodale goes to the Waldorf-Astoria to see explorer “Lord” James Bennett who is giving a talk there. Twelve years ago they met and passion exploded until he learned she was the wife of his friend “Doc”. Kathryn needs James to help her win the Great Centennial Race because she needs the $50K prize since her agreement with her late spouse of fifteen years was that his estate would go to his children from his first wife.
James shows up just before the race begins. He listens to the first clue, a children's rhyme before deciding to rest while his opponents, many of whom he knows, races off into the sunset with no game plan. Kathryn is frustrated with his seeming delay, but when she falls asleep he deserts her. He believes he can win the race without an upper class pampered woman tagging along. However, Kathryn shows her stubborn resiliency by catching up to him and forcing him to take her on the global race. As they work together, the attraction of a dozen years ago explodes into love even as someone tries to sabotage their efforts to win.
This is an entertaining adventure romance that feels like an Indiana Jones meets love while on an escapade. The story is fun to follow once the action of the great race begins. The lead couple is a delight as James wants to rid him of Kathryn, but her abstinence refuses to allow him to succeed although her being physically able to keep the pace seems ludicrous. Still, historical romance readers will want to join on this around the world novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner