As children, North Sheffield-Ryland and Octavia Vaux-Daventry shared a unique background -- each is the child of an actress and a nobleman -- but with one difference. Octavia's parents married while North's did not. Growing up together in the backstages of Covent Garden, North and Octavia shared their dreams and hopes for the future. He dreamed of acceptance in his father's world, while she yearned for a secure future. But just as their childhood camaderie turned to something deeper, Octavia's grandfather, Lord Spinton, decided to acknowledge his granddaughter. To ensure her acceptance in her grandfather's world, North relinquished all contact with his "Vie."
Turning his back on the world that won't accept him, North begins a career in law enforcement. Twelve years later, he has made a name for himself, first as a Bow Street Runner, then with his own investigative firm. The society that he once dreamed of joining now welcomes him with open arms. During an investigation at a ton party, North encounters Octavia again.
For the past dozen years, Octavia has tried to mold herself into the lady her grandfather envisioned. Hiding her true self behind a practiced demeanor, she has yet to bring herself to fulfill her grandfather's last request: to marry the new Lord Spinton. Adding to Octavia's doubts is her reaction to seeing her beloved "Norrie" again. When her would-be fiancé asks North to investigate some mysterious letters Octavia is receiving, both believe it is their chance to finally lay their past to rest and say their final farewells. But can a love that has survived a dozen years apart really end?
The second in Kathryn Smith's series about the intriguing Ryland brothers, IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN is a poignant love story driven by the internal conflict of the main characters. North is a noble, strong-willed hero with one flaw -- his inability to envision a future with the woman he loves. Octavia is a vibrant, passionate woman slowly suffocating under the weight of everyone's expectations. While their situation is poignant and heartfelt, it seems to drag on just a tad too long. Several secondary characters add depth and a sometimes welcome diversion, especially the rest of the Ryland siblings, whose stories I can't wait to read. Emotional and lushly romantic, IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN should satisfy fans of historical romance everywhere.