Author: Karen Tuft
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 stars.
Anthony Harvgreaves has returned from the dead or so his family thinks. He was a captain, serving in the Peninsular War in 1812. He was wounded, taken by his best friend to a private home for treatment and no body was found so he was presumed dead. His family was notified, bringing further devastation to them as Anthony’s older brother had been killed a few short months prior in a riding accident. Anthony arrives home to the astonishment of his household, but with great relief and joy. He is hailed as a hero, but his emotional trauma from war continues to haunt him. He only finds some peace when he is with Amelia Clarke his mother’s companion. However, now that he is the heir and an earl he must marry quickly from someone of his same station and fill his nursery to appease his ailing father.
Amelia Clarke is resigned to be a spinster, but enjoys her position at Ashworth Park as Lady Ashworth’s companion. She was raised as a vicar’s daughter and has an education. Not all nobility respect that about her and see her as trying to reach above her station. She finds an ally in Anthony as well as a kindred heart as they both take on more responsibility than is theirs to take on. Both have a tremendous sense of honor. However, Amelia discovers something about her past that might affect her future and that of Anthony. Their romance is forbidden by society, but their hearts disregard that boundary. As each character wrestles with their ghosts from the past they turn to one another for the future, but can their relationship survive the sometimes cruel beau monde?
Although the story was predictable, I enjoyed the journey from beginning to end. Amelia was such a woman of character and respectability and decorum. She repeatedly put the wants or needs of other people ahead of what she wanted. What a role model for girls today! She stood her ground to face off against some mean and hateful people. The roles and prejudices of society were so rigid in this time period, although some of that has carried over into our own time period. There was some talk of God in the story, but not a lot. I like to have that aspect more evident in the stories I read.
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