3.5 stars If I'd read this book when I was a teen, it would likely be up there in the list of my old time, sentimental favorites along with the older Kathleen Woodwiss' novels. By today's standards it is horribly un-pc, but it does not have many of the elements of the more "down-n-dirty" bodice rippers of the '80s. Of course, in grand old school tradition, she's not really a street girl at all, but a virginal Scottish lady hiding out from the scheming relative who killed her sister in revenge after the heroine refused his marriage proposal. The hero, St. Bride is actually an English Duke posing as a colonial plantation owner. The villain does not know who the hero is and thinks they are partners in a scheme to grow and sell opium. St. Bride thinks Kayleigh is a street urchin who has been around the block more than once. He even alludes to the fact that as a man of means and power he can make her his bond slave (presumably by paying to have fake papers drawn up). Although Kayleigh eventually falls in love with St. Bride, she thinks he only wants her body.
However if you can get beyond that you will love this tragic story about an innocent girl who had to watch her sister be killed and her evil cousins plotting her demise.
Set in 18th century Scotland, New Orleans and Georgia, it tells the story of Kayleigh Kerr, who was raised in Mhor Castle near Inverness until the day tragedy struck and her life of affluent nobility was ripped from her. St. Bride is really the Duke of Lansdowne in disguise, secretly plotting his own revenge, not coincidentally against the same cousin who has followed Kayleigh to America.
Look how much time Ive spent in these colonies when I should have been at Scion house doing my duty. No, theres no point when youre in love with her The plot is good. But still, her heart was heavy. He had given her all her heart had ever desired. - Avoid this book If you don't like historical and forced seduction.
Her rotten cousin Erath Straught has other ideas and after Kayleigh refuses to marry him, he has her sister murdered and tries to have her killed too. There is a period at his plantation when she tries to run away and is caught, where St Bride starts to notice that Kayleigh is educated as a lady, but he finds it hard to balance this with the fact that she continues to steal from him and he traps her but putting a jewelled collar on her, that she can not get off and which would put her at risk if she tried to run away again. In fact she is blackmailed by one Of Straught's cohorts and eventually when he tries to dispose of her, St Bride intervenes and has to kill the man. On a trip into New Orleans St Bride discovers that Kayleigh is wanted for Bardolph's murder. However, Kayleigh finds this new situation hard to bear. Kayleigh tells St Bride about her family and her cousins actions but he refuses to marry her unless she tells him her cousin's name which she is afraid to do. I suppose I found it hard to understand how the heroine had ended up in the new world with her drunken would be murderer - why hadn't she sought help in scotland at the time? However the hero came across as extremely attractive and despite his alleged ruthlessness he repeatedly goes out of his way to help Kayleigh and to protect her, although that said on two separate occasions he does put her at risk by his actions, all be it this is under frustration of her lack of honesty with him.
I read this when I was just starting in on my downward slope towards my torrid affairs with harlequins and Avon Romance, I was about 11 years old.
What was great about this book is that there were interactions/dialogue between the hero and heroine on almost every single page.
Trama: La novela cuenta las peripecias que tiene que ha sufrido nuestra protagonista, Kayleigh. Simpatize con ella por todas sus cualidades y debido a las cosas malas que le habían sucedido. Sobretodo, por parte de Ferr, pero más al inicio, aunque creo que se debía a que Ferr no podía comprender bien a Kayleigh. Las partes que más me gustaron eran cuando se comportaban como ellos mismos. En general, es una novela muy buena.
To be honest, I didn't read the epilogue. Heroine is an infantile nitwit who I would just probably throw overboard on her journey to Louisiana and TA-DA, save everyone the trouble. The main conflict of this book is dragged over almost the entire book (the hero realises shit 10 pages before the epilogue) and is artificially stretched. There is a way to introduce a new conflict while the hero knows who the heroine is instead of punishing her because she's being a nitwit.