RETURN OF THE VISCOUNT
After her father's death in India, Cecilia Mallory begins to write to his close friend in the military, Sergeant Blackthorne. With her guardian overseeing her funds, she needs access to keep her ancestral estate alive and protected while her younger brother assumes the role of the new Earl. She needs to be married, and the far away Blackthorne seems the perfect answer to her prayers - so they agree to marry by proxy. Then to her surprise, her husband shows up at her doorstep, wounded and quite young and handsome! Michael Blackthorne owes Cecilia's father a debt to which he can never repay, but he tries to make up for it in the only way he could - by giving her what she needed in a marriage by name. Upon meeting and seeing her, Michael slowly begins to involve himself in her and her brother's lives, and growing to care for her. However, when someone clearly wants to harm her, it's up to Michael to protect her and hopefully earn her trust and love along the way. This is a simmering romance that doesn't fully blossom until the end. I enjoyed the characters somewhat, but found Cecilia's over-indulgence with her brother and her stubbornness against getting to know her husband frustrating. Overall, I enjoyed the build-up, but just wish the ending had been more prolonged and not wrapped up as quickly as it did.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones