Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Publisher: Signet
Date published: July 2010
ISBN: 978-0451230713
Historical romance
Mass Market Paperback
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

John Fitzhugh Wyckerly has always gotten through with his ability with numbers and playing cards. He is able to live his life of indulgence by winning consistently at cards. But when his brother dies, he finds himself as the seventh Earl of Danecroft and the owner of a ruined estate and a mountain of debts. Fitz is determined to do the right thing and is on the hunt for a rich wife. Thing is, he has an illegitimate daughter in tow.

Abigail Merriweather lives on a farm which has gotten very quiet since her four younger siblings were taken away from her. Things get lively however, when Fitz shows up with his daughter. Abigail is not impressed with his parenting skills but she enjoys his flirting and sees that behind the fa├žade lies a loyal man. Now, Abigail has been given the chance to come to London and find a husband so she can regain custody of her siblings. There are a number of potential men among the ton but not all are interested in taking care of her brood. It also seems funny that Fitz keeps showing up just when she needs him.

This is a highly entertaining story that will hold you captive from the first page. Ms Rice has an uncanny ability to write very interesting characters from the hero and heroine to the bungling assassin, busybody lady and the cunning old butler. The children are also highly entertaining and will not only keep Fitz and Abigail on their toes.

I highly enjoyed the banter between Abi and Fitz. Abi is a real down-to-earth person with a lot of wisdom. She is perfect for Fitz who has always lived his life a bit selfishly but now, because of his new responsibilities, is willing to change and learn. He desperately needs her. The conflict the two encounter is also realistic and kept me wondering if they would ever get together. Especially with Fitz’s money problems as he desperately needs a wife with a large amount of money and Abigail, though newly endowed with a yearly income, doesn’t really have that kind of funds. I think Ms Rice wrote the ending beautifully and I was highly satisfied by the end of the story.

Ms. Rice also writes a very sensual story. She had the sexual tension up on high that I was getting almost impatient with our hero and heroine and hoped they would do the deed as soon as possible. But, here again, Ms Rice gives her readers satisfaction along with her hero and heroine.

Yes, this is a book that belongs on the keeper shelf and should be shared with your best friends so they, too, become enamored by this mistress of historical romance.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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