Forced to marry an American heiress to save his family, Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair, vowed their marriage would be in name only. Abigail Price thought handsome, aristocratic Graeme was her knight in shining armor, rescuing her from her overbearing father. But when she was spurned by her husband on their wedding night, Abigail fled home to New York.
Now, years later, Abigail has returned. But this sophisticated, alluring woman is not the drab girl Graeme remembers. Appalled by her bold American ways but drawn to her beauty, Graeme follows her on a merry chase through London’s elegant ballrooms to its dockside taverns—why is his wife back? What could she want of him now?
Torn between desire and suspicion, Graeme fears that Abby, like her unscrupulous father, has a devious plan to ruin him. But is Abigail’s true desire Graeme’s destruction… or winning his love at last?
This book has a lot going for it. Despite the generic “historical romance” fashions on the cover, it is set in the second half of the Victorian era (ignore everyone labelling it as “Regency”; it’s set seventy years later!) – that means trains and telegrams and cool new technology. It also means great fashions.
Then there are the angst-filled themes. A hopeful, naïve heroine who is excited about getting married, only to discover her husband despises her and is in love with another woman. There’s a separation and a reconciliation.
There is a mystery element to this story, but the problem is that it was the part that interested me the least. I’d have preferred it to take longer for hero and heroine to reconcile, and for them to work over those issues, than to basically hook up and play investigators together.
I don’t remember reading anything by Candace Camp before, and she is a very good, solid author. I especially love her obvious love for the gorgeous Worth fashions of the era.
I think she also did a good job making the distinction between the American heroine and English hero, but ICING, not “frosting” goes on a cake!
I enjoyed this book, but – as I said – I’d have preferred more relationship development and less running around London trying to solve a mystery together.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.