Set in England against the background of the 1831 Reform Act troubles during the reign of William IV, Madeline Hunter’s latest entry in the Seducer series is a solid historical romance. Adrian Burchard has been dispatched to France to bring Sophia, the new Countess of Everdon, back from self-imposed exile whether she wishes it or not. She is needed on her estate, to nominate candidates in a key election. Well-suited, Adrian and Sophia develop a tentative friendship, which blossoms into a love relationship that does not seem forced.
The story is straightforward, but the execution is above average and well-grounded in history with an appealing collection of secondary characters, especially Adrian’s brother and Sophia’s poets. Equally well rendered is the setting, with authentic touches and beautiful imagery, demonstrating this author’s dedication to research. And while politics and history play their part, they do not overwhelm the story. A slightly less than savoury revelation at the end might shock some readers, but should not discourage. Somehow, though, the magic isn’t quite there, at least not for me. Still, for fans of Ms. Hunter, or those readers looking for a good romance, this book is well worth picking up.