Starlight and Promises in short, is fantastic. It has a feel of the older romances with the exotic locations and seafaring travel, but is fresh and fun. I simply loved how the romance developed on the way to where the expedition would start. The romantic timeline is a lengthy one – their romance does not develop over a few days. It takes them a year or so to get to Tasmania.
The heroine’s uncle is the one to discover a Smilodon (saber-tooth tiger) on his journeys with a friend in Tasmania. Just before he’s kidnapped by pirates, Richard Colchester manages to send a letter to his niece in Britain with orders to round up everything they’d need for an expedition. When Samantha exhausted all the people in England who might be able to lead it she gets the idea to find Christian Badia, the American feline biologist.
Our hero, Christian, is a by-choice exiled aristocratic lord. His work in the scientific community had them all knocking on his door with pleas to lead big game hunts until his early retirement. He’s confident, arrogant, and a beast, but not in the literal sense.
Samantha is a tomboy and not afraid of things normal ladies would be. In fact she’s a herpetologist and loves all things amphibian or reptilian. Her pets include iguanas, lizards, and snakes. She can be bratty, stubborn, and not just a little bit foolhardy in her recklessness, but she’s also determined and spirited.
She and Christian get into a lot of fights where he shows his inner caveman off in fine form. In the end he must either lock her up or marry her. He chooses the latter and finds himself probably more infuriated than before but the price of his sanity is well worth it.
Lots of action. Lots of crazy situations. Lots of mistakes and misunderstandings on both the protagonists' parts. All satisfying and touching. This is going on my favorites shelf.