Sophie is plagued by the shadows of the past…
While driving his curricle, Rufus Solgrave, Earl of Luxton comes across Sophie Clifford lying unconscious in the road, having fallen from her horse.
Not too far from home, he takes her back to Ashby, his country seat, leaving her in the care of his mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Luxton, and his sister, Lydia. Under their kindly supervision, Sophie soon begins to recover.
Upon discovering that Sophie has never mixed with London society, Elizabeth invites her to accompany the family to town for Lydia’s come-out. Unhappy with her homelife and eager to sample the delights of the season, Sophie accepts.
However, her enjoyment is marred when talk of an old scandal surrounding her birth resurfaces. What’s more, her devious stepbrother, Francis Follet, has followed her to London, intent on making her his bride.
Sensing Sophie’s distress, Rufus steps in to protect her from Francis’s unwelcome advances.
And although neither Rufus nor Sophie are yet thinking of marriage, both soon begin to wonder whether their comfortable friendship could blossom into something warmer…
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a well researched and written romantic Regency adventure with likeable protagonists and a plot with a few surprises.
Sophie is rescued by Rufus when he finds her injured on the roadside. She recovers in the care of his mother, finding life more agreeable than ever before. The chance of experiencing London life beckons but so does the possibility of an old adversary and a damaging scandal.
The setting and historical details immerse the reader in Regency society. The characters are carefully crafted, making the story an authentic and addictive read. The pace reflects the gentle romance. The story echoes classical Regency romance with an independent yet vulnerable female protagonist and a heroic but delightfully awkward male counterpart. There are elements of mystery and danger and plenty of romantic moments.
Natalie’s passion for reading became a compulsion to write when she attended a ten-week course in creative writing some sixteen or so years ago. She takes delight in creating short stories of which more than forty have been published, but it was her lifelong love of Regency romance that led her to turn from contemporary romantic fiction to try her hand at her favourite genre. Raised on a diet of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, she is never happier than when immersed in an age of etiquette and manners, fashion and intrigue, all combined into a romping good tale. She lives on the London/Kent border, close to the capital’s plethora of museums and galleries which she uses for research as well as pleasure. A perfect day though is when she heads out of town to enjoy lunch by a pub on the river, any river, in company with her husband and friends.
Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.