Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Men have always come to women as knights in shining armor, but in Regency times, they were clothed in much more refined armor than that. Marion Hawthorne thinks she is marrying a most honourable man, but Noah Jordan thinks otherwise, he thinks he is a murderer and she might be at great risk of her life. Noah is a spy who has been ordered to go into the luxury and independence of the country, where he hears a murder might be on the cards, and feels he has to save poor Marion from certain death.
At the moment this is all supposition, yet his superior is convinced that it will happen if he doesn’t investigate it, observe the clues and prevent her demise at the hands of a rogue. He doesn’t expect to meet the lovely woman, but once he does, he asks for her help with his investigation – the problem is, once he does that, he risks falling in love with her.
Noah is a man who likes the thrill of action, the chase, but now that he has been sent into the country to investigate a murder, he loathes the fact he is mixing with the social elite, and it bores him terribly. To be a part of the ton, watching endless hours of society life makes him wish he were back home. He thought he was out of the spying business, but finds that his superior wants him to do it again, for old time’s sake. He has to mingle with the elite and his cover is that he is looking for a wife. In his own mind, he hates the idea of having to come home to one woman every night for the rest of his life, only to leave at night to visit a mistress or his friends for a game of cards. His life has the awful chance to become even more boring until he meets the woman he would want as his companion, and perhaps his wife.
Marion is a woman who hates travel of any kind, and especially when she feels uncomfortable in it. She has a mind of her own and doesn’t mind expressing it in front of her father or anyone she might dislike. She hears about the infamous Mr Jordan from Josiah Lucas, a man who is actually glad he hasn’t come to visit them. When she enquires, she is told he is a rake of the highest order, and one unlikely to be one she should get to know. How wrong she is for when she meets him, she finds him to be nothing like the rake he has said.
I had to laugh at the first time Noah meets Marion – his horse, Phantom eating her pencils while she is out sketching! It is a wonderful scene to start with, and one that definitely breaks the ice between the two of them. Noah is captivated by her, and can’t help but have lewd thoughts run through his mind at the very sight of her. He is concerned however when she tells him who her intended man is to be – and wishes it were him. He deludes himself into thinking he is only talking to her to get information for his investigation, yet he is drawn to her and can’t get her out of his mind.
Marion, I found was an honest woman who talks freely in front of others, even with Noah, a man she doesn’t know as intimately as she would like. He doesn’t mind her having opinions, but she knows it’s not in the slightest bit ladylike.
Once read – never forgotten, there’s the impulse to read again.