Eve Kendal, a 25-year-old widow who deeply loved her husband, has returned to England after living in India for six years. The mysterious disappearance of her husband’s money has left her dependent on the generosity of her childhood friend, Sophia, the Countess of Averford. Eve soon encounters Sophia’s brother-in-law, Captain Marcus Thorne, and discovers the joy of falling in love for a second time. Despite their longings to build a life together, Eve and Marcus agree that they must sacrifice their own happiness so that he might provide his brother with an heir by marrying Sophia’s younger sister.
Set in 1906, after the Boer War, the story highlights the difficulties a soldier can encounter when returning to civilian life. While Marcus is a fairly typical romantic hero (a lonely man who needs a good woman to help him overcome his demons), Eve’s character holds an interesting blend of gentleness, audacity, wisdom, recklessness, and strength. The lack of tension between the protagonists is nicely counterbalanced by the threatening circumstances in the secondary storyline. These assets combined with the author’s smooth writing style work together to make Thornbrook Park a thoroughly enjoyable read.