My Love, My Enemy

Written by Jan Cox Speas
Review by Margaret Barr

This fresh edition of the classic romantic historical novel set during the War of 1812 combines the wit and tenderness of Georgette Heyer with the martial detail and atmosphere of Patrick O’Brian, and deserves placement at the pinnacle of its genre.

Despite the British blockade of the Chesapeake, adventurous Page Bradley slips into Annapolis, piloted by MacDougall, the disapproving Scotsman who serves her father. When she saves suspected English spy Jocelyn Trevor from mob violence and a likely hanging, she falls into more adventure—and danger—than she ever imagined. While making her way home to her wealthy father’s plantation, her vessel is captured by the British and she becomes a prisoner and pawn. Trevor, by birth a viscount, becomes responsible for her safety and her innocence—quite a challenge in the midst of war.

As their unspoken attachment grows, they find themselves divided by their patriotism. A deeper knowledge of one another is forged on shipboard and during battle, on the island of Barbados, in Brittany, and in Trevor’s native London, where his American charge manages to escape his vigilance. With every reversal of fortune come doubts that test their hearts and loyalties. The couple and the vivid secondary characters are realistically, reasonably, and poignantly affected by momentous events, culminating with the burning of Washington.