- Mass Market Paperback: 353 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Sep 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312982208
- ISBN-13: 978-0312982201
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 632,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Seven years ago Lord Joshua Kenyon abandoned his bride-to-be on their wedding day and returned to the Peninsula to carry on fighting Napoleon (Joshua was a captain at that point). His fiancee, the incredibly beautiful and vivacious Lily Pankhurst, went into decline because of his desertion and died soon after. And Joshua has been reviled ever since as a scoundrel and a cad. The wars are now over, and Joshua has returned to England to pick up the pieces of his life. But barely has he set foot on the island when Lily's brother, David, seeks him out and challenges him to a duel. Except it is not David that Joshua faces that fateful morning, but rather Miss Anne Neville, a good friend and neighbour to David Pankhurst.
The only daughter of an incredibly large family (Anne has 9 brothers), Anne is used to taking care of everyone around her. And knowing that David is not at all proficient with guns (while she is actually quite a skilled shot), Anne decides to take David's place at the duel. What Anne hadn't counted on was that someone else would be at the site, and that that person would shoot her, thus putting and end to the duel and unmasking her masquerade to Joshua. And while Joshua is understandably furious at Anne, he also resolves to uncover what is going on. Why would anyone would seek to kill universally liked Anne Neville? Or was David Pankhurst the real target?
Anne is equally determined to discover who tried to kill her, and so although she despises Joshua almost as much s David does, Anne is determined to work with him in order to get to the bottom of what is going on. But the more time she spends with him, the more she realises that there is more to Lord Joshua Kenyon than meets the eye. The Joshua she is getting to know may be a tad dictatorial and reserved, but he is also kind and compassionate. How could this Joshua be the same man who jilted Lily so callously? On top of it all, this sober and thoughtful Joshua is beginning to affect her in a way that no man has ever done before! Could spinsterish and firmly-on-th-shelf Anne be falling for the silver-tongued cad?
A word of warning: while the bulk of the book does not revolve around the should-she trust-him-even-though-he-is-a-cad motif, there is a fair amount of this going on as Anne tries to reconcile the Joshua of the scandal with the Joshua she knows. So, if you really hate those kinds of plot devices you might want to take note of this. However, because this plot device is actually an integral part of the novel, and because Barbara Dawson Smith handled the whole thing rather well, this plot device did not become quite so tiresome as it might have. Another small detraction was that the language was a tad too modern for my taste. But again this was a minor enough annoyance.
On the plus side however, the authour has created two rather memorable principal characters who did engage my concern and fancy. When I first met Anne Neville, she came across as being incredibly rude, bossy and confrontational. But as the story progressed, and I got to see all the different sides of her personality and character, I couldn't help but grow to like and approve of her wholeheartedly. Joshua is pretty much the usual run-of-the-mill angst-driven hero -- but a likable one at that! What I esp liked about this novel was that you get the sense that while Joshua is totally appreciative of Anne's charms, that it is her character and personality that captures and holds his interest. As such, the romance that develops between Joshua and Anne turns out to be a touching and poignant one as well, and one that one cannot help but root for.
I rather liked "With All My Heart." It was a satisfying read. The first two books in this series weren't exactly memorable, but this one definitely was. The book ends with the hint that there are two more books (at least) in the series. And on the strength of "With All My Heart," I will be checking out these forthcoming two.
It is Brighton, 1815 and war veteran Joshua Kenyon embarks on a duel with Pankhurst to settle a long-standing feud where Joshua was rumoured to have abandoned Pankhurst's sister Lily and seduced Lily's best friend. The duel was sabotaged by a mysterious intruder who shot his opponent - and what was even more astounding was that his opponent was a female - identified later to be Miss Anne Neville. She had substituted Pankhurst to rescue her beloved friend from a brush with death.
Who could have wanted Miss Neville's life? Could it be her cousin Edwin who bears a seated grudge when she is the recipient of her uncle's fortune? Could it be the enigmatic Samuel Firth who had intended to shoot Joshua but ended up hitting the wrong target? Barbara Dawson Smith takes readers through a labyrinth of red herrings and paranoia as suspects surface with cloaked shenanigans. The mystery is intelligently plotted and cogently structured to deliver a rousing epilogue.
Even more stirring is the romance. Joshua and Anne complements beautifully in wits and intelligence as well as heart. As the veteran plagued with darkness, Joshua is determined to portect the innocence of Anne by maintaining his distance. Yet as danger approaches his desire to protect Anne stems from a deep yearning of wounded souls. The couple evokes an emotional gravitas that is searingly tender in the face of treacherous miscreants.
With a romance that is equally measured in the intensity of its mystery and mayhem, I gladly proclaim Ms. Smith a maverick tale-spinner- with all my heart.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions