DESTITUTE ON HIS DOORSTEP
Dickson does justice to the setting by embracing the constraints placed on English citizens under Cromwell’s rule. Additionally, the vicious villain Jacob Atkins will inspire horror in reader’s hearts as his machinations and abuse almost bring an end to Jane and Francis. Unfortunately, rakish Francis and the spirited Jane seem to evolve little over the course of the story. Although Dickson has packed the story full of challenges that should bring the couple together, many of these obstacles seem contrived and unnecessarily drawn out.
Several years ago during the fighting of the English Civil War, Jane helped Francis, a parliament solider escape, from Royalist captivity. Now, after the Parliament forces have won, it is in that Francis’ power to help Jane. Jane has fled from an abusive guardian, heading to the ancestral home she and her stepmother left just after the war. Jane is surprised to learn that the government has reposed the home and sold it to her Parliament soldier, Francis. The English Miss vows to do everything in her power to regain her home. However, when her guardian comes after her with accusations of witchcraft, trying to gain ownership of the house and surrounding land – Jane and Francis join forces to try to save the home they have both come to love. (Harlequin, Feb., 298 pp., $5.99)
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