When her husband is murdered by Bonaparte’s soldiers, Liliane has little choice but to flee France with her young daughter and join her sister in Virginia. Unfortunately, Liliane arrives at Cloudmont to find her sister dead of a sudden (and mysterious) illness. The Madison family welcomes Liliane into their home and she and her daughter Melisse fit quite nicely into the household – and that includes her sister’s widower Andrew who is most definitely the marrying kind. Or is she more attracted to Andrew’s brother George, the dashing sea-captain who prefers the bachelor life?

Liliane soon finds that her sister was very different at Cloudmont from the one she grew up with. What could have happened to turn her into such a termagant? Why would she beat her son Andy? Was her death just a tragedy, or did someone wish her harm? Andrew professes love to Liliane and wants to marry her, but what deep dark secret does he keep that could shatter all their lives? What about the slaves who suddenly seethe with resentment towards their white masters? Inquiring minds want to know.

While this is written in the first person narrative (not my favorite) I have to say the author did a good job with putting Liliane where she needed to be to *witness* the action. No hiding in cupboards or peeping through keyholes here, nor any endless recounts of history. Whew! The author gives the reader a lovely glimpse of plantation life (I am so craving turkey right now), as well as the gay balls and society of Richmond. And don’t judge this book by its cover, old *skool* romance or not any sex that happens in this book is pretty much all done behind closed doors. A quick, easy read and perfect for a beach book. 3/5 stars.

 FTC, I know you’re terribly concerned about the source for this long forgotten OOP. Rest assured, it came via a book swap. The world is still safe.