Don’t let the cover scare you, its a lot better than you’d think. Although if I were planning on taking it on a plane or a bus I’d get one of those special covers so no one would think the worst 😀
The Kent Heiress is actually the last in a trilogy Gellis wrote starting with The Terror of the French Revolution and ending in this one set during the Napoleonic wars, although this book does well enough as a stand-alone. Sabrina de Conyers is married to womanizing diplomat William, Lord Elvan and when the novel begins they are assigned to the Russian Court in Saint Petersburg as the conflicts between Russia and Napoleon are heating up. Disgusted with her husband’s numerous affairs, Sabrina meets up with childhood friend Perce Moreton, who realized his feelings too late (she was already married to William) and still carries the torch and sparks begin to fly (well of course).
As Sabrina fights to remove herself from an unhappy marriage, Perce risks life and limb as a British envoy of sorts to the Russian army. Sabrina returns to her family in England and attempts to annul her marriage, but Elvan convinces her to help him “keep up a good front” and travel with him to his new post in Portugal, where his wandering eye eventually leads him into an affair with deadly consequences and leaves Sabrina in a perilous pickle that only Perce can extricate her from…..
I know it all sounds like your basic cut and paste romance novel, but when you’re reading Gellis there’s always quite a bit more to the package. She loads her books with tons of historical details and political intrigues that raise the bar for a more rewarding read — although romance readers looking for a basic bodice ripper will likely be bored to death with the added history. All in a all very pleasant romp and I very much enjoyed the ups and downs of Sabrina and Perce — but they are quite a lusty couple and a couple of their scenes were just a tad bit…well…ahem…too detailed for my tastes – I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers. I’m sorely torn between 3.5 and 4 stars, but it _is_ Gellis so I’m going for broke and giving her four. Now to backtrack and read the first two in the trilogy, The English Heiress and The Cornish Heiress.