When impoverished Phoebe Kingston and her convalescent mother go to live with her married
sister, it seems like the end of the world. Phoebe has never got on with her sister Jane or
her mill owner husband, and now it appears as though the rest of her life might be spent
tutoring Jane’s brood of brats. But fortunately a family friend intervenes, and instead
Phoebe’s new job is to act as chaperone to young Sally Benton, who is going to join her
diplomat father in Brussels. But Zachary, Earl of Wrekin is also coming to take up a
diplomatic post himself and he says that Phoebe is far too young...
It is always a treat when an author does something a little different, and as the bulk
of Regency romances are about England this one instantly has the appeal of being set
elsewhere. There is also the added appeal of actual history forming part of the tale, as
Napoleon escapes from Elba once the characters are in Brussels, and thus there is plenty
about what life was like under the threat of invasion. If you are looking for a story
dominated by romance, then this is not it, but as there are plenty of those already, this
one offers something else. Jane’s husband’s awful relations add a certain amount of humor
and the descriptions of high society in Brussels entertain, as does the sense of real history.