Rory Jameson was on the way to see a grandfather he never knew. He knew about his grandfather, knew that he disinherited his father when he married his half gypsy mother and that he had not made any attempt that he knew of to help out with the raising of himself and his sister. Rory really couldn’t think of why he was going to see his except his sister had asked him to. Not wanting to rush getting there and needing directions, Rory stopped in at the tavern located in the nearest town to Granbury Court. He never expected to see temptation in the form of a young woman with chocolate colored hair.
Winter Ashburn needed to see the bartender/sheriff’s mother. Her father use to own Everleigh, a large estate that was located next to Granbury Court. Due to financial problems, Winter’s uncle by marriage had taken over Everleigh when Winter’s father died. Winter, her brother and her mother now lived in the dowager house and received a pittance to live one from her uncle. In the meantime, Winter’s uncle had big plans. He planned on marrying his daughter to the heir of Granbury Court and he had political ambitions beyond their small town.
Rory wanting to know Winter better followed her from the town. However, part of the way there he is attacked and shot. Winter is able to move him to Mrs. Kincade’s home where the local Catholic priest and Winter tend to his wounds. Mrs. Kincade was Winter’s father’s mistress and Winter only went to her home due to it being close to where Rory was attacked. Otherwise, she would have never entered the house, as she didn’t even talk to Mrs. Kincade!
Things get interesting when Rory finally gets to his grandfather’s only to find him on his deathbed. Rory dismisses the physician and hires the Father. Rory also meets a cousin he didn’t know about who had assumed he was the heir and hears about a contract with Winter’s uncle that has the heir of Granbury Court marrying his daughter. Rory looking for who tried to kill him finds that many of the town’s people have been committing crimes to stay alive and only look at him with mistrust. Oh, and Rory has no desire to marry anyone other than Winter and she’s turned him down!
This is a fast paced interesting historical novel. The action never stops and is intertwined in such a way that when you find out who is the bad guy you aren’t too sure how bad they are. Within the first few pages, there is a theft, a killing, a chase and the meeting of the main characters. There is also time for things like small boys going fishing and annual balls. There is enough action to keep it moving yet enough background story to flesh it out.
The characters are strong. There is no coy, never can make up their mind characters. Winter is determined to live her own life and that life does not include being married to Rory. She presents arguments to support her position. Mrs. Kincade, though a secondary character, is able to come across as a lovable woman who would never do anything to hurt Winter or her family. She also is not only willing but is able to make her own way. Rory once deciding on a course of action does so with determination letting no one in his way.
The love scenes are done extremely well. They have a tenderness to them that demonstrates that the characters do care about each other even as they deny it. And Winter does not act as the shy miss though she doesn’t want others to know what they are doing!
A good book for a day on the beach or curled up in front of a fire.
When his grandfather summons him to his estate, Rory Jameson goes for only one reason - to tell the man off and turn his back on his inheritance. Winter Ashburn is sick of the injustices committed against her and her people by her aristocratic uncle. Seeking revenge for the excess around her, she takes a page from Robin Hood’s book, pilfering from the wealthy at local inns. When Rory is injured trying to retrieve his wallet, Winter comes face to face with the consequences of her actions - and with a man who will change her life forever.