Ex-chief of special branch of the secret service Richard Maitland is about to do the impossible and break out of Newgate prison. But when things go wrong he has no choice but to kidnap Lady Rosamund to escape. But now he has her he is finding it almost impossible to let her go. He is determined to clear his name but how to do that with out putting Rosamund in danger.
This was the first book by Elizabeth Thornton I read and now I just buy any book with her name on it without even looking at the back. Althought you knew from quite soon in the book who the main villian was you will find a few surprises toward the end and the relationship between the two main characters is well writtern and you can not help but become involved in their adventures together.
This aside, Elizabeth Thornton manages to write rather good lead characters, and their adventures together are as exciting as their growing relationship.
A good book for a being curled up by the fire or sat by the pool.
Richard Maitland, war hero, spy extraordinaire, chief of special branches, and highly honorable has made some powerful enemies in his career. He does not suffer fools gladly and is usually portrayed as a `dour Scot' with few real friends - but those that he does name as friends are `sterling' in character as well. Richard has been attacked, made to look like a murderer, tried, convicted and two days away from being executed.
Lady Rosamond Devere, daughter of a powerful duke, and thought to be a perfect matrimonial choice for a prince is visiting a `friend' who `for a lark' wants to bring Richard Maitland - his `last meal' at Newgate prison. Unfortunately, the timing could not have been worse as Richard, with the help of his trusty bodyguard, Harper, is attempting a prison break at the time of their visit. Seizing the moment, and Lady Rosamond as a hostage, Richard and Harper make their escape.
This story from the very first pages has exciting suspense, a wonderful romantic duel of personalities - a dour Scot vs. the overly protected and pampered daughter of a duke - and superb dialogs. After several attempts at escaping Richard, Lady Rosamond, with nothing more to go on than his word, and possibly a sexual attraction, does eventually come to believe in Richard's innocence - and she and her powerful family do get behind and help Richard to find the real killers. Of course on top of this, these two very dynamic people get to create some very highly sensual and sizzling moments together - not without some hurtles to overcome with such a difference in their disparate backgrounds.
From the very beginning you will have non-stop excitement, a real page-turner and exceptionally good secondary characters. Wonderful writing - I'll read anything with this lady's name on it and keep it forever!
Of course this still sounds like every other kidnapping story, (or at least what every other kidnapping story is meant to sound like) but what makes this story so uniquely compelling is Thornton's ability to convincingly relay to us the shadow of desperation that enshrouds both the hero and the heroine. The hopelessness of their circumstances is compounded by the wide social chasm that separates them. In a literary genre where social restrictions are spouted but never adhered to, creating worlds in which it is common for serving girls to runoff with lords of the manor, Thornton somehow establishes a believable barrier that is incapable of being so easily brushed aside. Here, consequences are real, life threatening and not easily settled by the whim of one man, however forceful or powerful he may be. Thornton is successful in this because she is able to express the limitations and flaws of both her hero and heroine without casting doubt upon their strength of character. Indeed, the book's overall allure is due largely to these two powerful characters. Neither is young nor naïve, irresponsible, flighty nor governed by emotion. Rather they are two reserved, almost cold people, mature and experienced in the ways of the world with deep values and viewpoints of their own, concealed by traditional social conventions. By sheer strength of character, these two lovers carry the reader through the same gamut of emotions they are forced to undergo during their ordeal, and drive the reader to believe in their circumstances, to believe in their love, and to believe in them.
Therein lies the book's brilliance. Though admittedly, there are imperfections in the storyline, what makes this novel stand separate from the rest is Thornton's is ability to create two such real characters that you are drawn into their desperation, their heartbreak and finally their joy as they surmount all the very real odds against them and ultimately find love.