From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Olivia Drake, a witty, adventurous Regency romance…
Mysterious rogue, Lord Gabriel Kenyon has been abroad for the past four years. When he returns to London, he discovers, unhappily, that he is now the legal guardian to two spirited young ladies! And that one of those young ladies is the same one who unsuccessfully propositioned him when she was just sixteen…
Kate Talisford and her sister, Meg, are forced to live with meager means after the death of their father, Professor Henry Talisford—though they both miss him dearly, they make do with what they have and are proud of their independence. When Lord Gabriel Kenyon arrives and informs them that their father has put them under the Lord’s legal guardianship, Kate is especially incensed—and more than a little embarrassed.
But Gabriel hasn’t forgotten the spitfire, nor is he surprised to see what a lovely and feisty young woman she’s become. When he moves them to his estate, Stokeford Abbey, they realize that one of Professor Talisford’s most prized artifacts has been stolen!
Gabriel can’t keep his eyes off of Kate—she’s become a sultry beauty unlike any other and she continues to surprise him at every turn. As they search for missing artifact, they realize that thieves must have had something to do with Professor Talisford’s death. Treachery and danger lie around every corner as they hunt for both artifact and truth—but the most risky of all is the chance for a true love…
Far-fetched, formulaic and flat, this lightweight Regency provides few thrills but plenty of melodrama. In an effort to stop talented sketch artist Gabriel Kenyon and her father, Henry, from journeying to Africa in search of a ruined city, 16-year-old Kate Talisford offers herself to Gabe only to be summarily rejected. Four years later, Gabe returns to inform Kate and her younger sister of their father's death and finds that Sir Charles, a friend of Henry's, has already imparted the news. Still angry with Gabe for spurning her, Kate is stunned to learn that her father asked him to be their guardian, especially since Sir Charles claims that he was charged with the task. Kate knows that one of the men is lying; predictably, she assumes that it is Gabe. Even after Gabe reveals that Sir Charles killed her father to get his hands on a priceless statue, Kate remains distrustful of him. Nonetheless, she agrees to take part in a harebrained scheme to retrieve the statue and falls in love with Gabe while carrying out the plan. The narrative's clich d dialogue and numerous cliffhanger endings only contribute to the novel's exaggerated feel, and the histrionics of Smith's (Romancing the Rogue) headstrong characters will alienate rather than engage the reader.