Caitlin Roper's past demands she pursue a solitary existence. Her life as a staid and contented spinster vanishes the moment a handsome gentleman tumbles into her world.
Fynn survives the fall from his horse in body but not in memory. Is he beggar or thief? Gentleman or laborer? He must decide.
Hopeless dreams awaken, and the door to a new path opens. Complications abound when the worlds of class differences and propriety clash.
Torn between the possibilities hidden in the future and the secrets of the past, they both must choose...before time runs out and the past decides the future for them.
"I imagine your family's missing you," she continued with a quick breath, her tone nonchalant, perhaps hoping to distract him. "If you'll tell me who they are, I'll send word to them straight way."
He heard her slight hesitation. A frown wrinkled his brow, and a prickling fear slithered through him.
"I am certain I have a family, somewhere," he grumbled. "I should, shouldn't I? Everyone comes from somewhere. One does not simply spring from the ground, but for Adam, of course. Your name isn't Eve, is it?"
The woman shook her head, narrowing her eyes.
"No, 'tis Caitlin, Caitlin Roper. I live here at Felliford Manor."
"Felliford Manor," he murmured, tasting it for any recognition, hoping to tamp down the growing fear. "There is something passing familiar about the name."
"Well, of course, there is. The Duke of Manchester is the Governor of Jamaica. This is his family estate, his home when he's in England."
"An honor, Caitlin Roper. I am at your service. No surprise you're not Eve, now is it? If we were Adam and Eve, I'd hardly find myself in such a comfortable bed, now would I?" Of a surety, he'd transformed into a silly, babbling brook, but he could not bring himself to care. It kept the fear at bay.
"As likely as not, sir, but you've yet to answer my question. In order for us to inform your family of your mishap, we first need to know who they are."
"'Ay, there's the rub,' as the Bard would say." He took a shallow breath, held it, and released it. "You see, try as I might, I cannot recollect them, not their names, nor even their faces. Isn't it odd, now?" He swallowed the knot forming in his throat.
The woman's breath hitched. "Not so odd, actually," she continued in a gentled voice. "You've quite the goose egg on the side of your ideabox. The apothecary suggested you might not remember everything, at first. He even said there might be a few things you never remember."
"Indeed? Tell me, did he perhaps mention when I might recall my own name?"
Posted by howdyx3 on 26th Mar 2013
Really enjoyed this, definitely worth it. AUthor Laurel Hawkes knows how to immerse you in the time and place -- she's serious about the historical accuracy, as there really was a year (1816) in the UK where winter went right into summer (they had no spring/summer, the crops failed). Caitlin Roper has to care for a man who has taken a serious fall from a horse (oh and by the way, her descriptions of horseback riding are thrilling, and right on!). I don't want to give away the plot, as I hate it when reviewers do that, but trust me, this is an excellent story, well-told.
The author is excellent at describing Caitlin's emotions about what happened in her past -- she feels so much shame, she feels guilty and unlovable, irredeemable, really, but it was not her fault. She has to trust God and His love to get her (and Fynn, the hero) through this.
Her villain (Bellamy).. he makes your skin crawl, well done, and, an ending to that part of the story that you do NOT see coming.
Will definitely keep reading her books. I also like her contemporary ones.