Gabriel DeVault, a dashing highwayman, lives to avenge himself against the uncle who stole his title and tried to kill him as a child. One night’s robbery yields unexpected riches when his uncle’s spirited bride-to-be falls into Gabriel’s arms. Now his plans for vengeance include seduction of the innocent miss, in the home that once was his own.
Marisa Dunsmore is blackmailed into wedding the cold and calculating Edmund DeVault, Lord Westbrook, to protect her beloved aunt. When her attempts to escape the upcoming marriage fail, she turns for help to the man she knows as Lord Midnight, entrusting him with her love, and her future.
Soon Gabriel must choose: saving the woman who stole his heart, or destroying the man who stole his life.
Review: This is an interesting Regency romance. Cummings’ writing is very good and she has presented a solid story, obviously taking care to convey a feeling for the period—and that is why I’m giving this book 4 stars. However, the middle of the story dragged for me. There just wasn’t that much happening, and after a while, the scenes in her bedroom with Gabriel began to feel repetitive.
The love scenes were also a bit strung out, though some might like that. Most of the story takes place in the Westbrook estate, at night or in Marisa’s bedroom. Except for the “extras,” the characters are few: the hero, heroine, her brother, the villain and two members of the hero’s band of thieves. Though he’s had years to plot how he can regain his lands and title his uncle stole from him, Gabriel seems to have no strategy. Cummings can write action and there was a pretty good action scene when Lord Westbrook tried to re-capture Marisa by force.
At times, Marisa seems overly naïve and at others a bit too experienced in physical love. I had a hard time getting a fix on her. The hero, Gabriel, is an honorable sort who is so polite and caring of Marisa, he seems a bit unreal. One would have thought the life he’d been forced to live would have hardened him more, but that is not the case.
I expect to see more novels from this worthy author but I’d like to see a more complex plot with more historical elements. This one was entertaining but could have been more suspenseful and more intriguing given her writing ability.