Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 5 April 2010

Secret Inheritance




ISBN 978-0-7090-8918-6.

Dorothea Harcourt an orphan since the age of twelve, had been brought by her Aunt and Uncle. Since her uncle died, his widow Mrs Sophie Harcourt and her cousin Clio Harcourt were her only family. Dorothea had been left an inheritance, which her Aunt believed to be small, but it in fact was quite large but had a mystery behind it which must not be revealed.

Dorothea had sold the small house she had inherited and in this way she was able to contribute to the running of their home and to help with small outings. She dared not do more as she knew her Aunt would wonder where the funds were coming from and that would never do.

The three ladies at this time were enjoying a little holiday in Matlock Bath. It was a quiet little town and not at all to Clio’s taste, as there seemed to be no young suitable gentlemen about. Dorothea would have loved to take her Aunt and Clio, somewhere more fashionable but Mrs Harcourt refused because it would have been too expensive. Dorothea knew she would have to find away to persuade her Aunt to let her lease a house in London so that Clio could have a season there. Clio was so beautiful that Dorothea knew she would meet someone suitable if only she had the chance, so she was determined to find a way to rent a house in London.

Walking on her own one day towards Matlock Vale, to blow the cobwebs away ,she was wandering around a bend in the road, so absorbed in her own thoughts that she did not notice a sporting curricle speeding towards her, at the last minute she saw it ,but tripping over her long shawl she ended up sprawled on the small bank at the side of the road.

The driver pulled his horses to and jumping down on to the road he put his hand out to help her stand and then berated her for being so stupid as to walk in the road. Dorothea was furious telling him that he should not have been driving so recklessly. After at first taking Dorothea for a local farm girl, the driver realised his mistake and apologised, he introduced himself as Martin Detherfield and offered her a lift into Matlock, as he was going that way. At fist Dorothea refused but as she was a bit shaken by her fall, she gave way and accepted a lift.

At the hotel Mrs Harcourt and the girls had met a certain Mrs Howard who was not a suitable person with which to associate, but she was a very hard lady to refuse, and seemed intent on clinging on to them all. She hinted to Dorothea that she recognised her and had known her Mother and that they had been very close. This alarmed Dorothea as her late Mother was part of the secret that the Lawyers had impressed on her must be kept.

What was the secret that Dorothea must not reveal? How could she escape the attentions of the menacing Mrs Howard and how was she to persuade her Aunt to go to London and give Clio her chance to find happiness with the right sort of man.

Does the driver of the curricle have secrets too and does he add to her fears? There is so much more to this delightful Historical romance , kidnapping and treachery add to the interest also.

I hope I have wetted your appetites with this little review, to add more would spoil it.

I loved this book and award it 5 Red Roses. AS

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