ISBN #: 978-1908483133
Page Count: 428
Copyright: March 8, 2012
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
(Taken from Amazon)
What can a young man of fifteen do when he is told by his mother that the three cousins he is about to meet all want to marry him?
Daniel Wilson Horden has arrived in London with his parents from their home in Northumberland on the very day of King Charles II's triumphant return to his capital. Receiving his own personal wave from the king, Daniel longs only to serve him, but first he must keep at bay the threat of marriage.
His two French cousins are adamant in their pursuit of him, but Daniel is intrigued by his English cousin, Eunice, whose Puritan father snatches her away from the reunion celebrations. Unaware that his gallant attempt to save her has endeared him to her, Daniel only just escapes the marriage trap which his younger French cousin lays for him and is sent off to study at Cambridge University. Once she returns to her father's home, Eunice is condemned to a life of austerity. Heart-sick, she is assured by her grandmother that Daniel will come for her when he graduates from University.
But, unaware of his cousin's feelings for him, Daniel goes off to join the navy only to find that fighting in the king's service is not as glorious as he had imagined. While the navy suffers at sea, London passes through plague and fire.
Will Eunice survive the hardship? And will Daniel return to fulfill the promise in his eyes on that fateful day in London?
To say Hearts Restored is a historical romance is not accurate. I would say this is more of a historical drama with a spritz of romance thrown in at the end as garnishing.
Is there unrequited love? Yes, for most of the novel, but the dramatic elements of the story heavily outweighed any potential love-sickness ... and thank goodness for that!
At the beginning we meet Daniel and his parents, Nathaniel and Arabella, who have decided to set out and travel to London to see their cousins. Arabella's mother and two French cousins are also coming to be there the same time they are. The adults hope to make a marriage between Daniel and one of his cousins. Daniel, being a mere fifteen, is not interested in marriage ... or even girls, for that matter. The boy, who thinks of himself as a man, would much rather be serving his king than thinking of marriage or the University.
Daniel does become intrigued by Eunice, his London cousin, because she barely speaks, dresses plain and has a Puritan tyrant as a father ... who happened to be his mother's suitor before she met Nathaniel. For all of his intrigue, though, Daniel does not fancy himself in love. He would dare say he doesn't know what love is or what it feels like.
Does Daniel go to University as his father wishes? Does he serve his king, which seems to be his heart's desire? Will he agree for the adults to make a marriage match between him and one of his cousins?
With the use of historical events such as the plague, London fires and the battle between the English and the Dutch, Ms. Phillipson creates a most dramatic story the encompasses the lives of Daniel, Eunice and both their families. Although an extensive novel, this was an easy read that kept me turning pages until the end. There was enough action in it to make it interesting, but not so much to make it seem unbelievable. Ms. Phillipson is adept at spinning a dramatic tale that keeps you thinking about the story and characters long after you've finished reading about them ... Brava!