I very much enjoyed reading “Through the Smoke” by Brenda Novak. Ms. Novak is one of my favorite authors and I was not disappointed in this latest work.
The Earl of Druridge wanted an heir. He married Katherine who was unfaithful from the start of their marriage. She was pregnant with someone else’s child and the Earl came to confront her. While he was at the manor a fire broke out and Lady Katherine was killed along with the babe she carried. The Earl was pulled free by his cousin Wyeth. It was rumored that the Earl set the fire to carry out vengeance against Katherine and his innocence was suspect by the villagers.
Rachel McTavish was the daughter of a coal miner and a bookseller and knew something about the fire. Her father was dead and her mother dying when she made a deal with the Earl that she would tell him what she knew if he would send a physician to her mother. They were too late. Her mother died before the doctor could get there. Rachel and Truman, the Earl, were drawn to each other even though Rachel wasn’t sure that he was not a murderer. The two of them try to find the answer to the mystery of the fire, which brings them together.
I read this novel quickly and easily as I needed to find out who did what. This is one of Ms. Novak’s finer works and I’m sure it will be well received.
A shocking betrayal…
Riches. Power. An ancient heritage of pride. The Earl of Druridge wanted only for an heir. So when he learned that his wife was carrying another man’s child, he was filled with a thirst for vengeance.
But he wasn’t the one who caused Katherine’s death. Or was he? To his horror, he remembers nothing of that dreadful night, when their last shocking confrontation ended in scorching flame and cold blood.
A forbidden love…
Rachel McTavish, the beautiful daughter of a coal miner, knows something about the fire that took Lady Katherine’s life. In secret, the strong-willed girl strikes a bargain with the desperate earl: he must send his physician to help her dying mother or he may go to the scaffold—and the devil. The earl agrees, but Rachel is still unsure that her revelation will be enough to save him when so many wish him dead.
Passionately drawn to the nobleman, despite all the doubt and mystery that shrouds him, Rachel wonders if he can really be a murderer. Or if he is the only man who will ever own her heart…