A Treacherous Proposition

Written by Patricia Frances Rowell
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

After her profligate husband is murdered, Lady Diana Corby and her two children are left penniless. Vincent, Earl of Lonsdale, is determined to shield the lovely widow from those who would turn her need to their own advantage, but when one of the children is nearly abducted, Vincent realizes that the killer is still on the hunt. Not knowing whom he can trust, he flees with his charges to his country home to await the murderer’s next move.

While this novel has many interesting pieces, it feels like a puzzle that has been put together using scissors and tape. For example, Vincent is adamant that he take Diana to his stronghold where he can protect her, yet it is an ordinary estate staffed with gardeners and cooks. One particular scene in the moonlight—a scene that does nothing to further the plot—requires contortions of rationale to explain why Diana would risk taking her children out into the night. Add to this the sudden appearance of a hitherto unmentioned brother, who was presumed drowned when he was eight, and this turns out to be a most disappointing novel.