By Jennifer Moore
She would follow him through peace and war.
The London Season is ushered in with a thrilling flurry of invitations, gowns, and parties. But despite her status as belle of the ball, lovely socialite Emma Drake simply cannot fathom becoming entangled with any gentleman of her acquaintance. For in truth, since childhood her heart has belonged to Captain Sidney Fletcher, a man of the sea—and her brother’s best friends. Emma knows that Sidney’s directive to free the Spanish city of Cadiz from French occupation will be dangerous, but when word arrives of his capture, she is frantic. Determined to aid her brother in Sidney’s rescue, she hides aboard his ship and sets a course to Spain. But the realities of war are a far cry from the drawing rooms of London, and Emma finds the man she loves a mere shadow of his former self. When a series of events leaves them trapped together behind enemy lines, Emma and Sidney must embark on a journey fraught with danger—from a bloody hunt for Spanish treasure to the battlefields of war-torn Spain, new threats lurk around every turn. As their flight becomes increasingly perilous, Sidney and Emma must trust each other with their lives—but can they trust the other with their heart?
It’s hard to find a good clean romance that is written well with believable characters and an entertaining plot. I enjoyed Jennifer Moore’s first book Becoming Lady Lockwood enough that I picked this up at the library as soon as it came out. While it was fun to see old faces, I had a hard time liking Emma. She’s sheltered and she screams far too much. Perhaps it’s because when I’m truly terrified I can’t speak. I was reminded of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I swear all that blonde woman did was scream in a high-pitched and very annoying way. I inadvertently pictured her as I read about Emma’s experiences in the midst of a war. Sure, she gets better, but there is that first picture to contend with. It made me not like her and I only minimally was able to overcome that. It’s always hard to root for a relationship when you don’t like one of the characters. Sidney was much more agreeable, though he became a fairly stereotypical protective male. Though I did appreciate the gesture that was made toward explaining PTSD. It was a fine read, just not one of my favorites. Will I read Ms. Moore’s next book? Probably. This was just a case of not liking the character versus the writing or overarching plot.
I give it a 3 out of 5