ISBN #: 978-1908483324
Page Count: 354
Copyright: June 7, 2012
Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
(Taken from Amazon)
On the death of her mother and sister, Isabelle Gibson is left to fend for herself and her brother in a privately-run workhouse. After the matron's son attempts to rape her, Isabelle decides to escape him and a life of drudgery by agreeing to marry a moorland farmer she has never met. But this man, Farrell, is a drunkard and a bully in constant feud with his landlord, Ethan Harrington.
When Farrell bungles a robbery and deserts her, Isabelle and Ethan are thrown together as she struggles to save the farm. Both are married and must hide their growing love. But despite the secrecy, Isabelle draws strength from Ethan as faces from the past return to haunt her and a tragedy is set to strike that will change all of their lives forever.
First of all, I must say this ...
THE COVER IS GORGEOUS!!!
I love the colors, the picture, the sentiment it portrays ... I just adore it.
Now that I got that out of my system, let's get down to the nitty gritty: The book opens with Isabelle and Hughie standing at their sister's open grave as she has just died. Their father left them a few years before and their mother died soon after that. Now that it's just the two of them, Isabelle is determined to get them out of the workhouse they've been in since their father left. The matron's dislike for Isabelle and the matron's son's continuous (unwanted) attempted advances are more than enough to spurn Isabelle into deciding that a marriage is the best way out of their situation.
Thanks to the matron's deceitfulness, Isabelle is married to a drunkard and an abuser. She determines to make the best of her situation and stays with him. It takes a year or so for Isabelle to realize the mistake she's made as she looks at her brother and realizes he has become sullen and pessimistic thanks to living with Farrell, Isabelle's husband.
Enter the brave knight on a white horse: Ethan Harrington. He actually owns the land Farrell lives on. As these stories go, Ethan and Isabelle fall in love. There's just one ... okay, maybe two ... problem(s). They're both married ... to separate people. Both of their marriages, though, seem to be a marriage of convenience. Ethan and Isabelle decide that divorces are needed as soon as possible so they can be together.
Will their separate divorces be granted? Do Ethan and Isabelle get their rose-colored future they dream about?
There is a lot of action in this story. I read this whole book through in one day. I didn't want to put it down. The plot twists kept my interest as I continued reading to find out what happened next.
My only issue with the book (other than some slight editing issues here and there) is that, like most romantic fictions, every male wanted the main female character. I can understand one, two, maybe even three at the most, but there were four male characters that wanted Isabelle. All for slightly different reasons, but still ... it becomes a little redundant after awhile. I mean, come on, is she really that intriguing and sexy? Is she really so different from all the other females of Halifax?
Despite my one issue, I am curious to know if there is a sequel in the works. Isabelle's story doesn't feel finished to me and I'd like to see how she ends up. I would highly recommend this novel to all fiction lovers out there, especially those who enjoy romantic, historical, English novels.
*An ecopy of this novel was provided by Knox Robinson Publishing in exchange for an honest review.