Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over Gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!
Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.
Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.
This story lives up to its title. Well paced, with an exciting plot and authentic, complex characters, typical of Regency society. Carefully interwoven historic details bring to life Regency England’s elaborate balls, strict society rules and preoccupation with eating rich food at every opportunity.
Annabel is not the typical society miss; she is educated and prefers to spend her time reading and playing chess rather than shopping for the latest fashion or fripperies. At odds with this is her feminine desire for children, making marriage necessary.
Lane is not the usual Regency hero, although a Lord, he prefers to spend his time with Annabel indulging her whims for play acting, reading out loud and walks in the garden,
The dynamic between Annabel and Lane is intriguing and therein lays the first misadventure
The love scenes don’t need the dialogue. Sensitively written they portray the heat and emotional involvement between the two main characters without the need for conversation.
The secondary characters, notably Charles and the antagonist are well crafted and in the latter case both depraved and sinister. Even the characters we do not personally meet are interesting, Lane’s sister Katherine interests me and I would love to read her story.
The suspense is good and there are lots of twists. The spy theme is the overarching series theme, so this is left open ended, to be continued in book two, which I am looking forward to reading
I received a copy of this book from Pandamoon Publishing in return for an honest review.
Love’s Misadventure by Cheri Champagne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars