I did not want this to end! From start to finish I was enthralled by the characters and their situations and the book just kept getting better and better! Not only is the main relationship between the H/h really well-developed, the subplot of solving a family mystery is also well done and the tentative love triangles tied up quite neatly. Candace Camp manages to make everything come together even though I had my doubts on how she would manage this while making the reader happy too.
What I first noticed as soon as I started reading was Ms. Camp’s vocabulary usage. It was just excellent! I don’t know why her choice of words made me take notice so much, but I did and in turn loved her prose and writing style too.
Our hero Graeme Parr, Earl of Montclair is a paragon of perfection and does the utmost to not bring scandal or shame upon his family. Thus, this is why his marriage has remained intact for ten years despite his bride, Abigail Price, running off on their wedding night and living in New York for the entirety of their marriage. This suited Graeme perfectly, as he was forced into marrying Abigail by her father and he only wanted a marriage of convenience with her. Abigail Price was a shy, naive young girl when she married Graeme Parr and she thought all her dreams had come true with her marriage. But being scorned by Graeme on her wedding night was not something she expected and she flees to New York to carve a new life for herself. Ten years later, Abigail is back in London with her bold American ways, creating a stir, charming the upper echelons of London and rousing old ghosts about the Parr family. Gone is the shy, mousy girl Graeme remembers but in her stead, an enchanting sophisticated woman remains, befuddling and challenging Graeme every step of the way. Why is she back? What does she have to gain after all these years?
How is it possible to love ALL the characters in this book?! My fondness for the characters doesn’t just stop at Graeme and Abigail but extends to Abigail’s, fiercely protective friend David Prescott and her maid, Molly too! Oh yeah, let’s not forget Graeme’s loyal and straightforward cousin, James and Graeme’s past love Laura. Even Graeme’s mother, aunt and grandmother were memorable! They each made their own impression on me and they all had their own distinct personalities and parts to play in the novel. I loved Abigail! What a strong woman! Her character really shone through and she was a delight to read about. With Graeme, I was just ready to hate him, for how callously he treated Abigail but, Ms.Camp really does redeem him in our eyes. We really get to understand Graeme and his reasons behind his actions. He has faults and he doesn’t hide behind them, but learns from his mistakes and really does genuinely redeem himself. Now those love triangles! Well I never thought I would like the ex, but Laura Hinsdale is just too darn lovable! We read more about her and James in the upcoming book. Yay!
Absolutely loved this book! I want to re-read this again! The loss of half a star was because some of the prose was noticeably modern at times and three-quarters of the way in, there were a few misunderstandings happening one after the other so it felt a bit rushed. But seriously such minor foibles can be overlooked when the whole book is so so satisfying!
*Thank-you Candace Camp, Netgalley & Pocket Books for the ARC.