St. Martin's, Mar 2008, $6.99
In 1813, it is bad enough being the poor relatives but sisters Sarah and Anne Carstairs are treated like rubbish by their kin. Having recently inherited an earldom, Jamieson Merrick accompanied by his twin brother Jackson arrives at their new estate Gladstone; their reputation preceded them from being politely called smugglers to being children eaters. When the pairs of siblings meet for the first time, Anne and Jamie are instantly attracted to one another.
Jamie demands all that was stolen from him and his brother when they were babies; as they were exiled and forced to become privateers. He has his title and his estate, but now he demands Anne as his wife; he sees her as the beginning of his vengeance scheme. She loves Jamie, but rejects his command to marry him. At the same time Jack and Sarah hit it off especially after he learns her secrets. However, waiting for the right moment is an adversary who plans to dispatch the brothers Merrick to a place no one ever returns from: the grave.
From the onset when the brothers come home until the final confrontation this is a superb Regency romance that never slows down. The four prime players are fully drawn with each having suffered maltreatment from family. Thus loving someone besides their sibling is emotionally dangerous and very difficult for any of them to accept. Sub-genre fans will thoroughly enjoy Cheryl Holt’s wonderful historical as Jamie must learn that it is okay to love someone while Anne is his teacher.