Priscilla Hamilton leads a quiet genteel life in the country with her intellectual father, and writes adventure novels under a pseudonym, which makes her ineligible for marriage. When a man appears at her doorstep she takes responsibility and decides to nurse him back to health. He cannot remember who he is but he does know that he was kidnapped and held in a small hut by two men. When he manages to regain his strength he wants to figure out who he is and who had kidnapped him and why. He doesn't think that roaming around the countryside looking for villains is something a lady should do, but he quickly learns that Priscilla is not an ordinary female. She is intelligent, she takes control and she relishes any opportunities for adventure and he finds that he enjoys her company, and her help, while he is out unravelling the mysteries of his life.
As the two spend more time together they begin to fall in love as she can't help but admire a man who is willing to let a female in on such "unlady-like" pastimes and he admires her helpfulness and her ingenuity. They discover that the two bad guys are in cahoots with the dowager Duchess of Ranleigh's lover. Priscilla's friend, Alex, is the heir apparent to the dukedom but b/c the last duke's oldest son disappeared after being accused of murdering a servant girl, he cannot inherit until the brother is declared dead. Things begin to look good for Priscilla and the man who has become "John Wolfe" and she imagines a future with him until one night they discover that "John Wolfe" (SPOILER ALERT) is actually Bryan and the son of the heir who had run away. Priscilla doesn't think that she could marry Bryan because of the differences in their station, but he is determined to show her that all that matters to him is her.
So Priscilla was pretty much your average spunky and heroine who wanted a taste for adventure. John was said adventure and him not knowing much about himself made it rather difficult to form an opinion really. I guess it says how much we judge someone based on their past actions, however Idon't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Her secret was, in my opinion, rather ridiculous as she wrote under a pen name and it seemed unlikely anyone would ever discover who she was, and even if they did it should have been obvious to her that John would not care. There is a decent amount of sex between them and it is fairly warm if not precisely hot and was just a back drop to the story and nothing too important. Priscilla and Grace spent a lot of time together and their relationship really did progress well throughout the novel and I could see why they fell in love with each other.
So I was totally sucked into discovering who John Wolfe was and why he had been kidnapped. There were kind of subtle hints throughout the book but I was still totally thrown when his identity was revealed and thrown in a very good way. The reasons behind his kidnapping were a lot of fun as, of course, there was a bad "guy" and the villain was deliciously awful and self-centered and ripe for comeuppance. It also led to a nice little side mystery of who killed the servant girl that the oldest son who disappeared was accused of murdering and led to an extra little romance that was so sweet and wonderful. Unfortunately it also led to some angst anger on Priscilla's part that was horribly overdone and I wanted to slap her and tell her to get over it. It caused the story to drag on a bit and I did not enjoy that- the story could easily have been 40 or so pages shorter.
Rating: A good mystery with adequate romantic development, but two characters I could not really enjoy exactly.