Rapture Becomes Her
Zebra, Jun 28 2011, $14.00
American Viscount Barnaby Joslyn has no idea how he ended up in the Channel. Sea Captain Jeb finds Barnaby and brings him to the Crown tavern owned by Widow Mrs. Gilbert. Dressed as a man, very tall Emily Townsend knows the guest interrupted their smuggling that keeps her beloved great Aunt Cornelia and Widow stepmother Anne safe from their cousin Squire Jeffery Townsend. Jeffery wants the three women out of his house with his plan to wed pliable Anne to his odious business partner Ainsworth who needs a wife immediately or lose a fortune as his inheritance has a stipulation.
Barnaby knows something is not right with the tall boy near his bed while Emily realizes he is the American. Jeffery arrives raging so Emily escapes through a closet as the five Gilbert daughters delay him before he rushes into the room occupied by Barnaby. The patient gives Jeffery a hard time. Barnaby knows they are smugglers but he owes all of them his life. He will find a way to pay then back though Mrs. Gilbert demands his silence as the only remittance. Meanwhile he wonders who wants him dead besides Mathew and considers his other cousins Thomas and Simon. Barnaby finds Emily and Anne in distress having been run off the road. Barnaby protects the three females while attempts on his life occur even as he and Emily fall in love.
The lead couple is atypical of the sub-genre while the ensemble cast enhances a strong story line. The story line is loaded with action but though there are a couple of other possible suspects, the villain seems obvious relatively early. Still historical romance readers will enjoy Shirlee Busbee’s exciting thriller.