"Fabulous Historical Regency with Paranormal Undertones"
Ten years earlier, Eleanor "Nell" Anslowe, a beautiful
wealthy heiress was once betrothed to a Duke's heir. That
was before the 'accident' which left her lame and haunted
by nightmares of hideous brutality -- always the same
perpetrator who remained in shadows, but different
victims. Firmly off the shelf at twenty-nine she agreed
to accompany her father to London for the season where she
is looked at as the answer to the nefarious Lord
Tynedale's way out of debt. Rebuffing his advances,
Tynedale later kidnapped her with the intention of rape
and forcing her to wed, but due to a storm along the way,
Nell escaped and found shelter in a nearby hut.
Fate stepped in when on that same stormy night, Julian,
the Earl of Wyndham was racing to prevent his step-sister
from eloping to Gretna Greene. Thrown by his horse he also
found shelter in the same hut as Nell and when Nell's
father and brother discovered them Julian -- who had vowed
never to re-marry -- did the honorable thing and offered
marriage. Their marriage would blossom into a sensual and
powerful love that would last forever....or until they could
discover the identity of Nell's 'shadow man' before he
destroyed them both.
*** I was completely swept away from the very first pages
of this tremendous Regency Romance mystery and read it in
one sitting. The author combined all the elements I look
for in a romance with two ideal lead characters truly
meant for one another; after the requisite initial
problems of conflict over their hasty marriage. Julian is
kind, honorable, considerate, and in lust with Nell until
he finally realizes he's fallen in love with his wife.
While Nell's initial qualms over being married without
love to a complete stranger are worked out in a reasonable
amount of time, she has also fallen in love with her
husband, but feels that his heart is bound to his deceased
At first I was wondering why the author opened up the book
with Nell's nightmares and then as the romance progressed
the author simultaneously directed the intrigue towards
the horror that Nell's nightmares were based in fact! As
Nell's nightmares which Julian was trying to soothe away
became more and more real, an event happened to make her
realize that her initial nightmare of a man being killed
was not a nightmare at all but a real event. At this
point, Nell realized she was actually looking through the
eyes of the madman. The author then built up the suspense
with the introduction of legitimate and illegitimate
cousins, uncles, and by-blows from Julian's rakish
grandfather and uncle, giving the reader a wide range of
possibilities as to what face belonged to the "shadow-man"
from Nell's dreams, especially when the features of all
the relations were so similar to one another. Thrilling
with an edge-of --the seat climax, the author kept up the
suspense right up to the spine chilling ending.
This was my very first book by the esteemed historical
romance author Shirlee Busbee but it surely will not be
the last. In short it was a fast and beautifully paced
romance with a huge dollop of suspense and mystery that
will keep the reader enthralled from beginning to end!
What a treat!
Reviewed by Marilyn Rondeau
Posted August 11, 2007