Open Road Media (March 26, 2013)
The first book in Amanda Scott’s acclaimed Dangerous series journeys from the battlefields of Waterloo to the ballrooms and boudoirs of London, where a deadly deception unfolds . . .
Engaged by proxy to a man she’s never met, Lady Daintry Tarrant is dismayed when the war hero returns, introducing himself as her fiancé, Lord Penthorpe. She cherishes her independence and has turned away many suitors, but this one she must marry. Penthorpe is completely captivated by Lady Daintry—but he’s not who he claims to be.
Penthorpe and Lord Gideon Deverill fought together at the battle of Waterloo, and when Penthorpe fell, Gideon assumed his identity in order to see the beautiful Lady Daintry. Gideon knows there’s bad blood between Lady Daintry’s family and his own, but he’s smitten with Daintry and determined to reunite the bitterly feuding clans. When a ghost from Gideon’s past appears, he could lose everything—including Daintry’s love.
Regency Historical Romance
HEAT RATING: 1.5
REVIEW RATING: 4 Stars
REVIEWER: MAGGI ANDERSEN
Heroine, Lady Daintry Tarrant is a forthright young woman, encouraged to be independent by her spinster aunt, Olivia. She has given several suitors the congé but now her father has her word that she will marry Lord Penthorpe when he returns from the war.
There’s been a feud between the Tarrant and the Deverill families for years, but no one seems to know why. While hero, Lord Gideon Deverill and Daintry attempt to uncover the reason behind it, the plot revolves around Daintry’s sister, Susan, who is suffering at the hands of her brutal husband, Geoffrey. Susan has become submissive and bowed down, which well illustrates how little authority women had in those times, often with no help from patriarchal fathers and little aid from the law. I found it interesting and refreshing that Scott focused quite a lot of the story on this theme, although the developing romance does take second place at times.
Daintry is outspoken and rails against the constraints placed upon her. She tries to aid her sister. Without giving away too much, something unspeakable happens to Daintry in the course of the story, and although I expected the gently raised young woman to show more emotion, it is a powerful scene.
I didn’t warm to the hero immediately. I thought it silly when Gideon masquerades as his dead friend, Penthorpe, who was betrothed by proxy to Daintry before falling at Waterloo, and didn’t feel his reason justified it. He grew on me though. His complex relationship with his father gives us more insight into his character. All the secondary characters are well drawn. Scott creates a great sense of place too; she brings Cornwell vividly alive.
When the underlying mystery of why Gideon and Daintry’s families had been feuding is solved, it seems a bit pat, but it quickly loses its relevance in the scheme of things and the story ends well. These are quibbles, I enjoyed the story, the author’s writing style impressed and I will read more of her books.
I am an Australian writer of historical romance and romantic suspense novels. My latest release is A Baron in Her Bed – the first of the Mayfair spy series. http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com