In late Victorian England, Captain Jack Cameron seeks the traitor responsible for the deaths of so many of his men, but first he must recover from wounds he was not expected to survive. Addie Hoodless is a widow, emotionally scarred by the mistreatment of her abusive soldier husband and consequently mistrustful of all military men. When Jack decides to adopt a disguise to observe his prime suspects while they have their portraits painted by Addie’s artist brother Ted, however, these two fall in love; but will her feelings survive when she learns he is a valiant soldier, not an unthreatening artistic dilettante in need of her protection?
Despite the complicated and rather implausible scenario, the relationship between the characters is entertaining and their motives convincing, as is the growth of Addie’s self-confidence; it is this which eventually allows her to escape her abuser’s shadow and recognize that not all soldiers are brutal. Occasional unfortunate errors remain: a Victorian English lady would hardly vow not to let her husband spend one cent of her inheritance (penny?); nor is a corporal an officer (cornet?). Definitely recommended.