Dear Ms. Thornton:
I had to go on a business trip and when I got home I didn’t want to take a chance on reading a book that I may not like. I wanted to read a historical. Your books have often hit the right note with me and this one is one of my favorites of yours. Pulling it off the shelf for a re-read was a great way to decompress.
Caspar Devere, Lord Castleton, son and heir of the Duke of Romsey, is seeking out one Jane Mayberry. Jane knows someone who may have information about La Roca, Caspar (aka Case)’s nemesis during the war. Case is a member of the Special Branch, a secret investigative/spy related branch of the British government. Upon meeting Jane, Case is instantly intrigued despite her being everything that he doesn’t ordinarily look for in a woman. First, she’s smart. She doesn’t immediately fall at his feet.
As she turned from the cupboard, Case said softly, “Call off your dog or I shall be forced to shoot it.”
“If you do,” she said coolly, “it will be the last thing you do.”
Once Case focuses on something, he is ruthless in his pursuit, both of the murderer, La Roca, and of Jane. Jane resists as long as possible but even she cannot hold out against the magnetism of Case. But Jane’s past is full of secrets that may keep the couple apart forever.
The really good part of this story is Jane and Case. Jane is a level headed, pragmatic woman who knows exactly what kind of man Case is and what kind of relationship they could have – nothing proper. She recognizes that he intrigues her but also knows that he would inevitably hurt her. Case, for his part, is interested in Jane’s cleverness and capability. He feels a bit useless, at times, faced with Jane’s self sufficiency. This is a romance between two equals, maybe not in station, but in intelligence and force of will. When these two come together, their loving is believable and all the more sensual for its realness.
The investigation part of the story was interesting but the villian was very over the top and the ending of the story was, well, a bit farfetched. But those are details that are easy for me to overlook when the romance is strong. It was just as good as the first time. B+
Yours is not a name that is often mentioned when good historicals are discussed and that is too bad because readers who like Caroline Linden, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Ann Long and Loretta Chase would find you a good addition to their library. This book was published in 2003, but is generally available. I’ll have to drop a note to the publisher that your backlist should be released in ebook format.