by Janet Lane Walters
When Nicola Gordon and her younger sisters travel from India to England, she goes to a marriage she doesn’t want.
Drew Barlow has no desire for marriage, but his distant cousin and Nicola’s grandfather, ran the estates into debt. Drew agrees to the marriage for the money and to please the Dowager, Nicola’s grandmother, but he has no trust for women or for love.
When the two meet they clash and come together, igniting a blazing attraction they cannot resist.
Nicola has been raised in India but when her father passes, she must seek out marriage to protect her sisters and herself. Drew has his own demons. His childhood shaped the man he’s become. Forced to marry for money, he is pleased with a match with Nicola. Unfortunately, their pasts get in the way of their happiness and future.
The dramatic storytelling of British society against the backdrop of a young lady who is experiencing it new, draws the reader deeply into the tale. Nicola is intelligent, witty, and a take charge person. Yet, she’s insecure, unsure of her decisions and impulsive. All things that make her “real”. Readers will want to shake the characters at times for not finding time to talk or share their feelings but when they’ve had such upbringing, it’s understandable and lends more passion to the story.
Ms. Walters shows a deep knowledge for the culture of India and gemstones in this story as she weaves a masterful tale of two people who need to be loved. I wasn’t able to put the story down.