Her Secret Fantasy
This romance begins in 1818 at the funeral for Lily Balfour’s grandfather, Viscount Balfour. Lily’s inheritance, the dilapidated Balfour Manor, needs immediate rehabilitation, but the family funds are long gone. Pragmatically, Lily decides to marry for money, this being the only acceptable method for women to raise capital at the time.
Major Derek Knight is in London to seek the release of previously promised funds for the army in India. Feeling guilty for leaving his men behind, Derek would much rather be fighting. While waiting, he avails himself of the ample pleasures of London society, namely the many married and widowed ladies who have heard of his skills in the Eastern arts of love.
When Lily and Derek meet, sparks fly. But there are obstacles to be overcome, namely that of Edward Lundy, Lily’s chosen bridegroom, who also happens to be a member of the Appropriations Sub-Committee with whom Derek is negotiating.
This novel has all the requirements of a juicy, sensual historical, but the results are ho-hum. There are long, explanatory passages, but little dialogue. The ending is overlong, as if the author realized that her main character wouldn’t be sympathetic without a sufficiently traumatic childhood.