Melody Thomas ~~ 4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews
Christel Douglas has been in love with Camden St. Giles since she was very young. But Camden is a lord, and Christel is an illegitimate child. She tries to show him how she feels at a masquerade ball, but they are cruelly separated before she can get far. Nine years later, she is on her way back to Scotland, having spent the years of the American Revolution in Virginia. She comes to Camden's ship bearing a letter written by a dead woman‑‑her cousin and his wife.
Camden and Christel fought on opposing sides of the war. Like many Scots, her sympathies lie with the colonies, and Camden fought for England. As a result there is little trust between them at first. But they both care about the well‑being of Camden's daughter Anna as they wade through a sea of secrets and misconceptions.
Melody Thomas sets her latest in the familiar land of Scotland, but in the much fresher era of the years following the Revolution. Her characters are complex, and the plot compelling in a tale readers will adore.
Heather Nordahl Files
Avon Mass Market
Rory Jameson has arrived in a village outside London to deal with a legacy he doesn't really want. But he has landed in a rat's nest of local politics. When he first meets the alluring Winter Ashburn, she is attempting to search his bag, and then she steals his wallet. Later that night, his horse is stolen and he is nearly murdered. Winter takes him in and helps to nurse him back to health, but that doesn't mean she's at all willing to trust him.
Winter was once a debutante with a bright future. Then her evil uncle robs her of her home and her future. With a brother too young to help and a mother who is mentally ill, only the local townspeople can help her, and they fall into petty thievery to keep local finances afloat. It would never occur to her to trust a stranger or a newcomer, but Rory inspires more trust than she's ever shown any man besides her childhood friend. And he inspires passion as well.
Melody Thomas' latest is incongruously titled-- it doesn't have the lighthearted tone the title implies, and very little of the book takes place in London-- but this dark and convoluted tale will keep reader interest through all its twists and turns.
Heather Nordahl Files