Hot-blooded Spencer Becket went off to war in America, full of passion and young ideals, only to return older, wiser and with part of his memory missing.
Fiery Mariah Rutledge arrived at Becket Hall one stormy night, heavy with child and more than willing to refresh Spencer's lost memory.
Forced to the altar, Spencer and Mariah have little time to explore their attraction before they uncover a plot to restore the recently vanquished Napoleon to power in a most unusualand deadlyway. Bound by the secrets that keep the Beckets safe from harm, Spencer and Mariah must battle the world and their own devils in order to prevent a tragedy but what will be the price of their victory?
With this tedious return to Romney Marsh (after Beware of a Virtuous Woman, etc.), Michaels hits her series' first speed bump, eschewing the light comedy for which she's known in favor of high drama and intrigue. The result is a contrived romance with more bluster than action. The story kicks off during the war of 1812, in which Spencer Becket is battling American troops. A blow to the head sends him back to his family's island enclave with no memory of how he survived. However, a pregnant Mariah Rutledge soon arrives to fill in those gaps and deliver Spencer's son, a child he can't recall conceiving. The Beckets welcome Mariah into the fold, but keep her in the dark about their privateering past. Sensing they're holding back, Mariah spies on them and forces herself (twice) onto a ship bound for danger. That a new mother would desert her baby just to prove herself to the in-laws is absurd, anachronistic and unfortunately all too typical of this story, an awkward marriage between gaiety and gravity. It's easy to get the sense that, in trying to do too much, Michaels just skims the surface of character and plot. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information