By Janet Woods
Robert Hale - April 2002
ISBN 0709069790 HB
Romance / Historical
1778, New Forest, England

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
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Angelina is beautiful, pure and innocent - but an orphan in the care of formidable old Lady Alexandra. Imagine her surprise when a handsome young nobleman comes to sweep her off her feet, but not to marry her. Instead he tells her that he is her brother and that she has a family waiting to claim her - as well as a large fortune. Her father, the Earl, is an irascible old man. Her mother, Elizabeth, is a sad woman who fights for her husband's favour with a village woman. Her other brother, William, is a cynical enigma and her exotically beautiful sister Rosabelle hates her! Then she discovers that she has a bastard half-brother called Frey who is the highwayman everybody is trying to catch.

There is a touch of the Gothic about this tale of mysterious births and highwaymen. Angelina has her work cut out for her to find the man she loves and to fit in with her dysfunctional family who are all fairly well delineated. I would have liked more of a sense of the place where the story is set. Despite mentions of the New Forest and smuggling, I felt that it could have been set anywhere, which is a pity. The story is always enjoyable but lacks some momentum if it is meant to be an exciting tale - a good read though for all who enjoy romances.

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