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Childhood romance rekindled
on 22 January 2008
This book is the sequel to "Passion For The Game" which was a book which had potential but which I found disappointing in many areas. This book is different in some ways but still falls somewhat short of its potential.
Amelia Benbridge is the half-sister of Maria, the heroine of the previous book, sand we learned something of Amelia's story in "Passion For The Game". In that story we saw how Amelia had fallen in love with one of the stable boys, Colin Mitchell, who tried to discourage her because of the differences in their stations, with Amelia as a Viscount's daughter. In the end she saw Colin killed and thus the youngsters' romance was over and Amelia turned to the Earl of Ware, another childhood friend and one who is honourable and caring.
In this story Amelia is on the cusp of becoming engaged to Ware when she finds herself being observed by a mystery gentleman at a masked ball. There's something unusual about the man and she finds herself drawn to him, engineering another meeting and eventually chasing after him and finding herself in an inn with him. However the Count Montoya, despite being hugely attracted to Amelia, is involved in a complicated spying plot where he is attempting to track down Cartland, a double-crossing agent who wants to kill him. Not only that, he is also her childhood sweetheart Colin who strived for many years to make something of himself so that he could become worthy of her. Amelia seems to react surprisingly badly against this revelation and the final third of the book follows her as she vacillates about how she feels about Colin, alongside a rather damp-squib spying plot that never really gets going.
Although an enjoyable read in some ways, this book did fall short in a lot of areas. The characters seemed rather one-dimensional, the historical accuracy was pretty loose, particularly in terms of dialogue and behaviour, and the overall plot was a bit thin for a book of this length, bulked out by sex scenes. The fact that Colin managed to get himself a Spanish Count's title and then became a member of the British aristocracy is laughable; perhaps Amelia and her family don't mind that he's really a stable boy but he would hardly be able to move in polite society without the lifetime's learning of behaviour and speech. The author's general writing style is good but her plots and characterisation tend to let the stories down and this is rather a shame.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2008