I really enjoyed this story, although I felt that the premise was a bit too precious at times. I suppose that it’s true when a child is lost after ten years old, it’s possible that he’d still retain some idea of his language and what not – but I found it somewhat hard to believe that Anthony had no trouble with the language or reading and yet had issues with personal space and other societal niceties. On the other hand, the love that blossomed between he and Grace was lovely and I did enjoy seeing good triumph over evil. I thought that the back cover was somewhat misleading, as Grace never really had to choose between her calm, staid life and her love for Anthony. It would have made for a much more compelling end else. I will be looking for books by Margo Maguire in the future as this was definitely a good read.
In 1829, a young man - lost in Africa on safari twenty-two years before - is discovered in unexplored lands and returned to his grandmother's estate. He is Anthony Maddox, Earl of Sutton, and he has no interest in staying in England. He doesn’t care about the title he inherited from his father, or the wealth he will have if the House of Lords recognizes him as the true heir. He is acclimated to the Congo. His valley is as close to perfect as any place on earth can be, and he wants to return to his life there. Besides, being abandoned by his father in Africa was enough to make him wary of English society. He cannot trust that he won’t be abandoned and betrayed again by those who claim to care about him.
Grace Hawthorne is the proper young woman who is companion to the dowager countess of Sutton, Anthony’s grandmother. Grace is straight-laced and rigid, and cool propriety has gotten her through some very tough times in her life. As Grace is being courted by a wealthy and proper landowner nearby, Lady Sutton shakes her world by giving her the task of tutoring her grandson. Grace’s assignment is to make him ready to appear before the House of Lords in order to claim his title - a title he doesn’t really want. He is a huge challenge to Grace and everything she believes in, refusing to allow her to let fear rule her life. And if Grace can overcome her own fears, she might also be able to teach Anthony how to trust again.