Friday, August 1, 2014

I Adored A Lord by Katharine Ashe

Ravenna Caulfield has had an unconventional life.  Living in an orphanage as a small child with her two sisters, all three were adopted by a rural pastor.  Although most women in 1800's England lead a structured, restrictive life, Ravenna could not do that.  She spent her time roaming out of doors, accompanied by her best friend, her dog.  Along the way, she learned how to take care of animals and then humans from those around her.  At seventeen, she hires herself out to a nobleman to take care of his dogs.

Things are fine in her life until one of her sisters married a duke.  The lord she worked for said he could not employ the sister of a duchess as a servant, and her sister wants her to start living in the new world she has attained.  When a young prince throws a house party in the mountains in Europe in order to find a wife, Ravenna is invited and accompanied by her employer.  She has no interest in living among royalty and does not fit in.

She escapes to the stables where she feels comfortable but even that refuge is denied her when she is followed by Lord Vitor Courtenay, brother to both the prince and an English Lord.  He gives Ravenna he first kiss; she responds by fighting him off and fleeing.  Thus begins a game of invitation and retreat, of drawing closer and springing apart.

The stakes are increased when one of the house party is found murdered.  Due to the party being snowbound, there is no competent law to investigate and Vitor and Ravenna are determined to solve the mystery.  Can they solve it before more victims are killed?  Will they resist the attraction between them or leap the bounds of class to be together?

Readers of romantic fiction will become fast fans of Katharine Caulfield.  Her characters are well-drawn and the pace is fast enough to draw the reader along.  The romantic scenes are compelling and the reader develops an interest in Ravenna and what will become of her.  This book is recommended for readers of historical romantic fiction.

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