Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fortune's Kiss-Lisa Manuel

Fortune's Kiss
Lisa Manuel
Medallion, Mar 2008, $7.95
ISBN: 9781933836355

Her beloved stepfather Everett Foster always promised Moira Hughes and her mom (his widow) that he has insured they will be provided for in the event of his death. Moira understands that the brunt of the estate must by law go to his heir. However to her chagrin the codicil to his will, if it was ever written, is missing not filed with the will in the Prerogative Court in Canterbury; soon afterward the solicitor Mr. Smythe of Smythe and Davis, Legal Consultants is dead.

Desperate to find it, Moira accepts work as a maid at Monteith Hall, the house she once lived in as a lady, so that she can search for the codicil. Meanwhile the heir Egyptologist Graham Foster returns to England, a place he left years ago in scandal, accompanied by his African Sun Spider. He finds his wastrel family pretending to welcome him while unable to hide how they want this usurper back in Egypt so they can spend his estate’s assets without care or control. However, he is attracted to Moira, who reluctantly tells him her story. Being an adventurer and in love, he helps her investigate her late stepfather’s life and helps her search for the missing codicil.

This is an amusing engaging historical romance starring two likable heroes and a zany out of control support cast. The story line is fast-paced and though a nineteenth century tale with its obvious period piece moorings, in some ways the structure of the plot feels more like a 1930s madcap romantic suspense comedy. Fans will enjoy Graham’s efforts to prove to Moira that men like Everett and himself don’t stray from love.

Harriet Klausner

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