Christmas Awards 2011

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A Dedicated Soundrel


In Spain in July in the year of 1812, an English Lord was working for his country in the guise of an army spy, he was badly beaten and left for dead in a French camp, he had been betrayed and he believed it was by one of his own kind. Somehow he managed to survive and escape back to England, his name was Lord Justin Belforte.
In the study of his true friend, Charles Rutledge, who had been more like a father to him for a deal of his life, he related the story of his capture and subsequent escape. Charles could hardly believe his ears but he agreed, that they had indeed a traitor in their midst and also a would- be murderer. Unfortunately, Lord Justin Belforte had been dubbed a traitor himself unbeknown to him. He was charged with helping an important French General to escape. One attempt had been made on Justin’s life already, since he had returned to England but he was at a loss as to why he should be targeted.
Charles begged him to get out of the country, as he was now wanted by the authorities in England as a traitor, which was a hanging matter. But Justin refused to run away he was determined to seek out his enemy himself, however he did agree to go into the country and lay low for a while so that Charles could take certain matters in hand and try to flush out the real traitor.
Riding to his would be hideout, through quiet country lanes, Justin hears a call for help coming from a dilapidated old shed he rears in his stallion Caliban but decides it is not his business. He is about to move on when he hears another scream, cursing beneath his breath he jumps from his horse and runs into the shed which had half collapsed and is trapping a beautiful young woman and her dog. Managing to free the lady he tries to free the dog but in doing so he becomes trapped and is knocked unconscious by the roof of the shed falling across his head . When he awakes, it is to find himself in a bed in a strange room, with two ladies tending him. The accident has left him with loss of memory, which although it is short lived, for reasons of his own, he pretends to remain without a memory for sometime. He is being looked after in the home of Catherine Meade who lives with her Grandmamma and a cousin Mariah who is a widow.
He makes frequent night excursions into London when his injuries have healed sufficiently, still carrying on his enquiries. Although Catherine is strangely attracted to Justin, whom she has renamed John Smith, she cannot feel quite at ease over him and wonders what dark secrets he has in his past. There are to be hair-raising events to over come before this story is told, treachery and murder. Can Catherine ever fully trust and understand Lord Justin Belforte, can he indeed ever trust himself? This story held me from the first page to the last, it is a must for lovers of this genre and a very good read, as was another book by this author, Lady Lisa’s Luck. I happily award this book 5 Red Roses.

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