By Sarah M. Eden
In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found…After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a starling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.
I’ve become quite the fan of Sarah Eden, she’s my go-to author for a quick little romance jaunt that I don’t have to worry about content. This is her newest novel and I was pleased to be able to get a hold of it so quickly. Miles was a great character, though his past actions felt very out of step with his overall character, though it was explained. Elise is a tragic sort of heroine and I found myself dreading finding out what happened to her, because I was sure of it from a very early point in the novel. Which leads me to my only real problem with the book: I just have an issue with what happened to Elise, because it’s something of a personal nightmare that I hope never happens to anyone. This fact colored my read of the novel and I just wasn’t able to be objective about it, and ended up feeling rather sad than happy toward the end like I’m accustomed when reading a regency romance. If you’ve read Eden’s books you’ll know that she chooses a difficulty to give her characters like child loss, widowed, abuse, etc. This one was just not for me.
It still gets a solid 3.5 out of 5 because it was good despite my personal issues.