Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Everton Domestic Society #4
Publication Date: 11/19/19
Number of Pages: 223
This was an adventurous, exciting addition to the Everton Domestic Society series. It also has the most wonderful, romantic, dedicated, honest, steadfast and loyal hero I’ve read in a long time. We should all have a Jacques in our lives – I mean, he always calls Diana his Goddess! I liked Diana too – she was smart (very smart), beautiful and running for her life. She’s about as resilient as one lady can be, so you can’t help but admire her. I think this is my favorite book in the series.
We meet a new group in this book, and they really impressed me. I’d love to see a series featuring them and some of their exploits. The group is the Buckrose Horsemen – sort of a takeoff on the apocalyptic Horsemen. They all attended the Buckrose School for Boys and were recruited by the Crown to form a group that would work on behalf of England. This group rescued Jacques from France just before he’d been scheduled for the guillotine.
We get a lovely visit with Millie (A Lady’s Escape) and her hero Preston – along with her eccentric uncle Francis who we all learned to love in Millie’s book. I really liked Preston in this book – he was a wonderfully loyal friend to Jacques.
Jacques, who has just managed to rescue his parents from France, is traveling to London for a meeting when he comes across a woman traveling on foot in the dead of winter – during a storm. At first, he isn’t sure if she is a highwaywoman out to rob him or just a frightened woman. Whatever the case, he knows he cannot leave her on the road to die. As they travel – and have to stop at an inn to get out of the worsening storm – he tries to get to know her better. What he does (and doesn’t) learn intrigues him.
Diana is running for her life. Two governments are after her – one thinks she is a traitor and the other wants to imprison her and force her to work for them. Everybody she loves has been tortured and killed and she cannot afford to get close to anyone – ever again. She can’t live with more people who care about her dying. So, when she feels drawn to the kind and caring man who has offered her sanctuary on a cold and lonely road into London, she knows she must stay away from him. She asks him to drop her off at some very public places, but his conscience won’t let him do that. He persuades her to let him take her to the Everton Domestic Society where she can seek employment or just rest up while she decides where to go and what to do.
We all know that Diana and Jacques meet again – and things blossom – even though neither of them is prepared for a relationship. Things get really exciting and tense when the bad guys start closing in. Diana and Jacques are thrown together more and more often and, of course, love blossoms in a very difficult situation. I love how they came together.
This could have been a 5-star read for me had the author not mentioned whiskey so many times. Whiskey wasn’t readily available in England in that period. If they had it, it was illegally made in Scotland (spelled Whisky) or Ireland (spelled Whiskey). As punishment for the Irish and Scot rebellion against the Crown, extreme, exorbitant taxes were imposed on the production of whiskey and on the distilling equipment to make it. Since the upper classes tended to view the Scots and Irish as barbaric, few would have made any effort or paid the price to have it. Whiskey didn’t become a staple in England until the Victorian period.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.