Where the Stars Meet the Sea
Twenty-year-old Juliet Graham is waiting only for her majority to take control of her inheritance and the guardianship of her schoolboy brother, Harry. Until then, the orphaned siblings are ruled by their unkind Aunt Agnes, whose likable son Robert Nicholson wants to marry Juliet. Then Juliet falls in love with the handsome Duke of Halstead at his Norfolk castle.
Halstead has been injured in a riding accident, suffers chronic pain, and has vowed never to marry. Juliet feels their social positions are too unequal for a successful union anyway. As the two struggle against their growing attraction, Aunt Agnes blackmails Juliet toward an unwanted marriage with Robert by threatening young Harry.
Within this typical Regency plot lies a thoughtful, layered story. Readers won’t want to leave the characters when the book ends. Scenes of Juliet and Halstead stargazing in the observatory are especially lovely, and on a personal note, I liked his scent of “pipe smoke and balsam.” Two thoughts: The author should have at least eased, if not relieved Halstead’s intractable pain. And Robert, the unexceptionable suitor, deserves his own book.