A young bride, abandoned on her wedding night and blamed by her mother-in-law for her husband’s absence, is left at her husband’s country estate. While wandering the grounds she discovers a man imprisoned in a folly. Seemingly insane, she takes pity on him and her kindness is rewarded when the man proves to be merely suffering from amnesia rather than insanity.
Unfortunately when he finally remembers who and what he is, he also remembers why he was imprisoned in the first place. He is king of the unicorns cursed to live as a man in the mortal world until he can lure his young carer into the clutches of an evil Fane Lord.
As he works to gain her trust he finds himself falling in love with the pretty virgin and unable to condemn her to a life of virtual imprisonment.
Eventually he explains all to her and once the questions of each other’s sanity are answered they band together to thwart the Fane Lord, break his curse and live happily ever after.
It’s been a while since I read a fantasy novel and I thought this one by an author I’ve enjoyed in the past would be a good one to slip back into the genre with, however this book was not what I expected. While there is undoubtedly a fantasy element to the story, it very much takes a back seat. I would class this book as first and foremost an historical romance with full fantasy elements only making an appearance in the last two chapters.
As a romance it didn’t rate particularly highly for me. Evidence of the hero’s supposed love of the heroine was thin on the ground and the heroine came off as just a little bland. It also suffered from the, unfathomable to me, American transplanted heroine syndrome. A great deal is made of the heroine’s American heritage and a rather convoluted explanation is given as to how and why her family ended up in America. Then another unlikely set of circumstances occurs for her to end up back on the English estate where the bulk of the story takes place. The plot is saved by a fascinating cast of secondary characters.
Though the story isn’t bad I had hoped for more from this author given how much I’ve enjoyed her other works. I finish it just a little disappointed but with hopes for the sequel (starring the more interesting secondary characters) high.-Lynn