Lucy Drake’s mastery of Morse code has made her a valuable asset to the American news agencies as a telegrapher. But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk. Newly arrived from London, Colin is talented, handsome, and insufferably charming.
Despite their rivalry, Lucy realizes Colin’s connections could be just what her family needs to turn the tide of their long legal battle over the fortune they were swindled out of forty years ago. When she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, neither of them realizes how far the web of treachery they’re wading into will take them.
Elizabeth Camden is an auto-buy author for me…not because I love everything she writes. It’s because she’s a good writer and more than that…one of those rare ones who is able to create different heroines and heroes in each novel. I never know what to expect and I love that feeling. I will admit that with this one, I started it, and then put it back down. Usually I can tell where a book is going almost from the first few chapters. I couldn’t with this one. However, once I picked it back up, I fell in love with it. My thoughts:
What I liked
The plot. Here we have a bit of a Bleak House (Charles Dickens) situation. Lucy and her brother are in the midst of fighting a legal case that’s been fought for generations. The family that they’re fighting though is not just legally annoying; they do everything they can to tear down Lucy and her brother’s life. Then you have Colin who is a titled gentleman from London. At first I didn’t know where he fit in as he is trying to marry an heiress. And yet somehow these two plots managed to get tangled in such a lovely way.
Lucy. My initial reaction was oh goodness, Lucy is going to be one of those heroines who is really rabid about something to the point where she puts it above everything else…but she’s not. She’s kind and generous and smart and thoughtful (Camden creates some of the most brilliant heroines). Obviously she cares about the legal case but that’s because she has an innate sense of justice. The case does drive her, but never to the point where she becomes unlikeable.
Colin. Colin is a man with a great sense of duty and honor. Even though he’s trying to marry an heiress, you know it’s because he cares about his tenants at home and taking care of his family line. I like that he’s a man who can take charge and still lives with his nanny. He’s very smart and brave and yet suffers from a malady that makes him look weak. He’s complex, but loveable.
The romance. This was a romance based on honesty. Thank you Elizabeth Camden. Colin and Lucy are completely upfront with each other regarding what they want. There are no secrets and no hissy-fits. They enter their friendship/relationship with their eyes open. And this served to make their romance just that more tender, just that more sweet.
The history. I managed to learn so much about this era in time, about plumbing, about honing pigeons, about journalism, about telegrams and so much more…all without the author stopping to give me long paragraphs explaining how it worked. She was able to interweave all these facts into the narrative effortlessly.
Spiritually, both Colin and Lucy learn what’s really important in life and once they’re willing to give it up and trust God, He will make a way.
What I didn’t like
I guess I should say the beginning since it didn’t draw me in right away, but other than that, I really had fun with this book.
Romantic scale: 8
Overall, a real winner. As always I’m looking forward to the next Camden novel
** I received a copy from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**