St. Martin's, Sep 2002, 6.99, 368 pp.
In 1815 England, former soldier Lord Joshua Kenyon fights a duel of honor with David Pankhurst over the death of the latter's sister following the former ending their engagement seven years ago the day before the ceremony was to occur. Josh fires at a tree only to see his foe fall to the ground wounded. Someone else shot Pankhurst. Josh sees that his fallen adversary is a woman. Being a doctor used to gunshot wounds from his military time, Josh tends to the female before taking her to his home where he can treat her.
Josh learns that Anne Neville, fearing for David's life, drugged him and replaced him at the duel. Though she thinks he is the enemy, Anne admires the way Josh took charge. As she reluctantly agrees to work with him in uncovering her assassin or perhaps David's, their pretense of courting turns into love. However, for years she thought the worst of her beloved and finds it difficult to believe otherwise.
WITH ALL MY HEART is an engaging Regency romance that sub-genre fans will enjoy due to the mystery investigation that provides freshening suspense to the story line. Though readers will wonder why Anne behaves out of character for the period by risking her life in the duel and tire of her shrilling accusations, the audience will admire her courage and fully appreciate the fortitude and moral fiber of the honorable Josh. Barbara Dawson Smith renders a wonderful historical romance that will send the Regency crowd seeking her novels starring siblings of the lead male protagonist.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner