Retiring by nature and the poor relative by circumstance a woman lives in the shadow of her exuberant cousin. When that cousin makes a foolish assignation behind her fiancé’s back she asks the woman to go in her place and call off the affair. The woman is found days later, badly beaten, with no memory of the intervening time and convinced somebody is trying to kill her. But nobody will believe that she is in any danger and there are whispers of madness.
In desperation she turns to a barely respectable gentleman who has made a name for himself helping people out of compromising positions and heading off scandals.
He uncovers a veritable closet full of skeletons and extracts the young woman from a web of fraud and deception falling in love with her as he does so.
This summary does no justice whatsoever to this impressive book. A book which I almost did not pick up because of the truly dreadful cover art. But I managed to look past that and I’m glad I did.
Full of suspense and a touch of the erotic, this historical romance really stands out amongst its peers.
The plot is deceptively simple. Multiple layers are peeled back revealing hints of what’s beneath without exposing the truth of the story too soon. Descriptions rich with detail somehow blend seamlessly into the background. The characters are beautifully drawn with completely believable reactions and behaviour for their time and circumstance.
I am delighted to discover Jo Goodman has an extensive back list and I will certainly be looking her up next time I am in the mood for historical romance.-Lynn