Setting 1788: Renn Arelia Sheridan holds something dear in the pocket of her gown. An emerald brooch, the same emerald brooch pictured in the portrait that Renn is staring at. A portrait of the First Duchess of Chippenham.
Renn is a mere 18 years of age when her parents drown. She is now under the guardianship of a Duke and Duchess. They tell her that her parents left her with nothing. They have searched and searched for that brooch but didn't find it. Renn is told she is betrothed to a French Marquis who is a wealthy, but a very arrogant man. Renn makes her escape but is almost run over by a carriage, she is rescued by a nobleman. Thus, two different lives emerge, England and Spain together.
Is this a step in the right direction for Renn? What is so important about the brooch? Is the brooch a blessing from her deceased mother or a curse to haunt Renn? It seems that trouble follows Renn as she goes from escaping the French Marques to boarding a ship. There is a captain who is far more than he appears. All she wants is to teach at an orphanage called Gravesend. She holds the locket closely but she has no idea what that locket may mean in her quest for a new life.
The author gives a strong character in Renn. She is bound and determined to keep going even under the worse of circumstances. She is strong willed. She holds on to the brooch her deceased mother left her with all her might. She won't let it go. But what is the real meaning of the brooch? The author keeps that in the back of the reader's mind as you turn the pages. There's more to it.
The descriptions of the brooch, the portrait, and the captain are so vivid that you can picture it all. You want so desperately for Renn to get some happiness. It seems that she has had very little. Where does the nobleman fit in? Is there a possible romance for Renn?
The story is well written and the descriptions are very good. The characters are well developed and the pace is just fast enough to keep your interest without losing you.
On a mist-covered road bordering the Thames, a careening carriage nearly runs over a young woman escaping a forced betrothal. A nobleman jumps from the carriage and runs to her rescue; two cultures collide, England and Spain. An heirloom locket and an irresistible chemistry are the stepping-stones to destiny.