Published: May 1, 2011 by Greatbird Books (originally published December 6, 2007)
Katherine Anne Welles lives a life of duty and obligation, but marrying her villainous neighbor is out of the question. So, she defies her father and risks all by fleeing in the arms of a wounded highwayman, even though she distrusts his offer of help. But traveling with a dashing highwayman who won’t ask directions is anything but safe. Especially when his searing hot kisses awaken a yearning for something Katherine never knew she wanted. Nicholas Montford, the exiled Earl of Ashton, returns to England determined to reclaim his family lands. As a highwayman called the Raven, he takes revenge upon the Puritans who thrived while his family suffered. But when he kidnaps heiress Katherine Welles, thoughts of revenge take second place to kissing her soft lips and teasing the mistrust from her eyes. Can he find redemption in the arms of the woman he will eventually betray?
Time Period: Restoration
Tags: Romance, Historical, tear-jerker
Heat Level: 2.5
Rating: 4 Stars
REVIEW BY LEE ANNE:
Katherine has always been a good and dutiful daughter. With the death of her brother, that leaves her the heiress to the family estate. Her father arranges a match with the neighbor, who Katherine despises. To escape this ill-fated match, Katherine runs off into the night with the highwayman she found wounded and nursed back to health. She’s desperately wants to get to London and her cousin. Her cousin will keep her safe, she hopes! Along the way, she falls in love with the highwayman, but does he love her back?
Nichloas Montford has returned to London to reclaim his father’s estate. He has a plan to abduct the heiress and extort her safe return when the estate is turned over to her. Imagine his surprise when she wants to run away with him to London. Things just got easier for him, or so he thinks!
The story of Katherine and Nicolas is heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time. She’s been raised in a Puritan household and has little freedom to do as she chooses. Now she’s been promised to a cruel man, who takes every opportunity to terrify and hurt her. What would it be like to be married to this awful man? She takes a huge risk and runs off with a highwayman, the Raven, in order to get to London and her cousin.
On the way to London, Nicholas (who is the Raven), gets to know Katherine and finds himself attracted to the woman whose face lights up with laughter and whose smiles soften her face. In one night, their fates are changed forever. Katherine reaches out to Nicholas as a woman does a man. But what happens when Katherine finds out who he really is and what he’s after?
I really enjoyed the story of Katherine and Nicholas. Katherine learning to laugh and enjoy life was a real treat. I also enjoyed watching Katherine and Nicholas fall in love. Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Nicholas’s refusal to confess to Katherine who he really is, creates so many problems. I cried so hard when she finally found out and her heart shattered. No matter how hard I cried though, I had to keep reading to find out if they ever get their HEA. I stayed up until the wee hours of the night finishing this story.
The history of the time period really lent a wonderful backdrop to this story. It really showed what happened to people when they finally returned from exile once Cromwell’s rule was over. With Charles now King, they were free to return, but many had nothing to return to. Their property was taken under Cromwell and they had to wait to see if Charles would return it to them. So many lives were changed with the changes in power and not all of the changes were good. Women in that time period did not have a lot of control over their lives. They couldn’t choose who they would marry but they could choose who they would NOT marry. But being in the country did not guarantee that option. Women could be forced to do as their guardians bid them and they were stuck.
I really enjoyed this story and read it in one day. I was riveted and could not put it down. Gina Black is a new author for me and I can’t wait to read more from her!
This book is currently available on Amazon for $3.99.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
I am a happily married mother of three very busy children. Most of my time is spent chauffeuring my kids to their various activities. I cram reading into any spare moment I have. Some days I can have an hour or two and others I’m sneaking in quick reads while waiting on the kids to finish their soccer or gymnastics practice. I like to read a wide variety of genres but I definitely prefer romance. I can’t really pinpoint a favorite author as it changes on a regular basis. I absolutely love finding new authors and giving their stories a chance to be heard. We all have a voice in our heads writing stories and those voices should be given a chance to be heard.