his is a first read of this author for me, and what a pleasant surprise it was! This book broke out of the typical historical romance theme by giving us a slightly older (45 year old) hero who is also an upstanding Englishman, rather than the usual rake. We also see the heroine as slightly older than the norm at 32, but she was also a widow who was happily married with a child and not out looking for a man to save her although she was in desperate straits.
Admiral Sir Charles Bright sees Sally Paul, aka Sophia Daviess, while sitting in a tavern/restaurant waiting for the "mouse" who is to be his wife. The "mouse" is hours late and he realizes that he is relieved that she has gotten cold feet. He does believe though that he really needs a wife to stop his meddling older sisters who are trying to find a bride for him and decorating his new home. As he watches Sally, he can see that she is broke and probably desperate. Which in fact she is. She has just been turned from her new position as companion due to the fact the the old lady had died before she arrived there. The family of the woman turned her away without funds to travel back to Bath.
He finds a way to approach her and they have a nice long chat and seem to be very comfortable with each other. He is surprised that she is not repelled by his hook for his hand. He explains his situation and asks her to marry him.
I won't give more of this story away, it does have some of the usual blah blah in it, with Sally keeping a big stupid secret. But I loved the way they came to get to know each other and fall in love. I just LOVED the Admiral, he was just so darn sweet. They had this CRAZY house that was previously owned by some old pervert whose lecherous old friends and acquaintances would just pop in. I loved how they handled many of the situations they found themselves in. Sally was a bit too much of a weeper for me, but I was able to overlook that as her life was just so sad before she met Charles. Defiantly a keeper, re-read worthy for me! (less)