Hero: Daniel Smythe-Smith, the Earl of Winstead, has finally returned to England after several years spent abroad, living in fear of his life. He’s gotten good at looking over his shoulder, but he must admit it’s really nice to not need to do that. When he meets his cousin’s governess, Daniel knows she hiding something and he is intrigued and lays a hot pursuit to win her affections. But even with the assurances of his friend, a man he shot and nearly killed over a card game, a powerful and ruthless enemy is after him still. But who? He doesn’t like that whoever it is, is willing to put Anne in danger.
Heroine: Anne Wynter is not who she appears to be, a governess to three young ladies. Her past hides a secret she must run from constantly and use every precaution to keep. A change of name, sending letters by different post offices, moving to London, it is all to avoid a single man who broke her heart at 16. Anne knows she was born and bred a lady, but as tempting as Daniel is, she doesn’t know if she can risk her heart once more.
Review: Daniel is a beta hero, perhaps not by choice, but because of circumstances. A young noble man on the run is unlikely to develop alpha tendencies, but that said, he’s clever in his pursuit of Anne and arranges meetings all the time when she least expects him. In real life, I’m not sure such an approach would work, because Anne gave a lot of “no” signals which Daniel ignored. Anne gives as good as she gets however, and punishes Daniel for his sneakiness by making him participate in playacting his cousin’s original play (which is terrifyingly horrendous and involves unicorns). The best aspect to both characters is that they never let the horrible set of circumstances they found themselves in to bitter them. Both Daniel and Anne stayed true to their original natures, perhaps a little more cautious and wiser, but ultimately fundamentally the same. I loved their meet-cute at the musical and kisses…. and Hugh definitely intrigues me as a reader. I am ready to read his romance!
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators. She makes any book a pleasure to hear.