Ian Campion is finally done and on his way to his apartment in London. The apartment that he shares with his two widowed sisters and their children. Ian accepted the responsibility for his sisters ever since they lost their husbands fighting Napoleon. As soon as he enters the apartment, his nephew, Liam, runs in and informs him that someone is looking for him. Ian ends up in the study of “Pirate” Harrell, one of the richest men in London. It turns out that Harrell’s heiress daughter, Lyssa, is gone. Lyssa’s fiancé’ is also in the study. Harrell offers Ian a substantial amount of money to return his daughter to him. Ian accepts.
Lyssa decided that she really wants to go to Scotland, the place where her mother and father are from. Her mother’s family has money and she ran away with Lyssa’s father. Lyssa has heard about her mother’s home and has always wanted to go visit there. Her father would never allow it. Now, he has gotten her engaged to a title. Lyssa doesn’t even like her fiancé and has no intentions of marrying him. Her father has also remarried, a Duchess, and is expecting another child. So Lyssa decided that this would be the perfect time to go on an adventure to Scotland. She’s traveling there with a group of gypsies.
Ian breaks into the little gypsy camp. It turns out they weren’t gypsies at all. As he’s getting ready to leave with Lyssa, shots are fired. It turns out that someone is now trying to kill them! Lyssa’s wagon ends up being burned, along with all her money. Ian and Lyssa manage to hide and hear the men talking. Someone has paid them to kill Lyssa. Ian decides the safest way to get to London would be to go to Lyssa’s relatives first. To get there, they will have to walk.
Ian Campion is an Irishman. He has faced discrimination his whole life because of this. His family was very affluent at one time and was famous for breeding horses. Ian went to study law and got in with some radicals. It was because of this that his family lost everything. He joined the military to avoid being deported, and his sister’s husbands joined with him. It was because they followed him that both of them were killed. Ian carries all of this guilt around with him, along with his knapsack. Lyssa is an heiress and is used to getting everything she wants. She definitely feels the loss of her mother and was less than pleased when her father remarried. She feels that her stepmother has taken her place with her father. She doesn’t want to get married to the title that her father picked out for her. Since her father was in trade, she has never really fit in with the ton. This adventure of Lyssa’s becomes so much more. She is forced to grow up and realize some facts about herself that she is not very proud of. Lyssa and Ian are both very attracted to each other but constantly fight the attraction.
This is a thrilling read filled with all kinds of danger. This Regency is not filled with balls and beautiful gowns and Almacks. In this story, we get a look at the life of the common man and how they live as Ian and Lyssa make their way through Scotland on foot. It is a story filled with self-discovery as Ian forces Lyssa to look within and confront all of her prejudices. This is not a light read. It is a more realistic look at life during the Regency period and I recommend it for anyone that is interested in that time period.
Chere Gruver, August 2003