Gabriel Fairchild joined the Royal Navy to prove to Cecily that he was the man she wanted him to be. He came back wounded, blind, and an emotional wreck. Cecily was overcome with guilt that she had driven him to war to prove himself and had almost died at sea. She changed her name to Samantha and sought employment thru Gabriel's father to nurse Gabriel back to health and to teach him to adjust to a life of blindness. She went to Fairchild Park to find him so absorbed in self pity that he had become just short of a monster. He had ordered all the drapes closed, seldom shaved and eating with his fingers. He had already run off 2 nurses. Determined to restore his confidence she sets out to teach him to be blind but civilized. She does the obvious at first. She airs out his mansion and has it cleaned the the furniture rearranged so he won't fall over it. She teached him to use a walking stick and how to eat using utensiles again. The staff of the mansion gets involved and he learns to dance again. Gradually they fall in love.
An accident occurs that causes Gabriel's sight to return. When this happens Samantha realizes that he will recognize her eventually and she reurns to her home. He spends several months looking for her and finally decides to return to the Navy. On the eve of his departure he meets Cecily at a ball, dances with her and leaves, not realizing that she and Samantha are the same woman. She goes to his townhouse later that night and successfully seduces him. She leaves before he awakens that morning. Gabriels butler and housekeeper show up at his London townhouse just before he leaves to board ship and show him a letter proving Cecily and Samantha are the same. He leaves for the ship to resign his commission. Then he waits for Cecily to find him there. She finds him and they both have confessions to make and plans for the future.
This report prepared by plnorth
Gabriel Fairchild comes back from war a hero and a broken man. The war had cost him both his sight and the fiancee he adored. He now locks himself away in his country estate raging against the world.
Nurse Samantha Wickersham arrives at Fairchild Park determind to turn the Earl's life around. With her she brings joy and change. Together they begin to discover passion and secrets within each other.
This report prepared by Cara Evans
Avon, Aug 2004, 7.50, 384 pp.
In 1806 Samantha Wickersham accepts a job as nurse to angry Gabriel Fairchild, a naval veteran blinded in the battle that cost Nelson his life. Part of his ire with the world is how his fiancÚ reacted to his injuries as his beloved Cecily March, who encouraged him to fight, walked out on him in horror.
Sam and Gabriel battle from the first day as he wants no one with him. To rid himself of her, Gabriel acts like a pest ringing for her constantly. Sam does his whims for a few days until she finally has had it and gives up. As Sam leaves, Gabriel tries to stop her, but hurts himself in an accident that almost kills him. She stays and soon they fall in love. However, she plans to leave once she feels he is back to what he once was because she has a secret that if revealed would lead to his hating her.
This is an exciting Regency romance that follows the life of what today would be classified as a disabled vet as he struggles to return to civilian life believing he lost everything. Though at times Gabriel's behavior is understandable, it can be wearying to the reader almost as much as it is to Sam. Still the key to the tale is Sam's secret as Gabriel learns what real blindness is, providing a pleasant twist for readers.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner