A Risk Worth Taking

Written by Laura Landon
Review by Waheed Rabbani

Having witnessed his friends’ killings, widower Griffin, an officer retired from the Crimean War, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. Determined not to remarry, he wishes to keep a promise to his best friend, Freddie, who is killed by an assassin’s bullet that Griffin believes was meant for him. Bachelor Freddie’s estate is entailed to a distant cousin. Griffin executes his pledge to assist Freddie’s unmarried and destitute sister, Lady Anne. Griffin escorts Anne from her cottage to the London townhouse of his brother, the Earl of Covington, even agreeing to his brother’s condition to stop drinking. Anne’s beauty and charm – notwithstanding the large dowry Griffin has promised – attracts a multitude of eligible bachelors, including Freddie’s heir. Surprisingly, the recovered drunkard, Griffin, screens Anne’s suitors, much to her anguish. The plot thickens, when it seems the killer is targeting both Anne and Griffin.

This lengthy novel’s sparse historical details and the mild murder mystery might disappoint some readers. Anne’s and Griffin’s relationship develops slowly. While his promised care for her turns to love, Anne is cautious because of Griffin’s past drinking. However, Landon has handled deftly the complex relationship between a recovering alcoholic and an impoverished beauty. The romance is engaging enough, and although limited to “soul-stirring kisses,” it will compel us to the predictable ending.