When Sacramento author Brenda Novak steps into the past to create a historical novel you can be sure the results will be intriguing, romantic and mysterious. In “Through the Smoke” she creates a story every bit as tantalizing as her contemporary novels.
The year 1840 was a difficult one for Creswell, England bookseller Rachel McTavish. She’s already lost one brother and her father to the rigors of the coal mines. Her mother’s illness gives her even more concerned than the slowdown in trade she’s experiencing at the shop. Add to this the suspicions held by local noble Lord Truman Druridge that her father was involved in the fire that killed his wife and it’s almost more than a girl can bear.
Rachel has tried to convince him that her father had nothing to do with the fire. But unless Lord Druridge can find the real culprit he may face the gallows. His late wife’s parents remain convinced that he was the arsonist and determined to see him punished.
Engaged in a life-and-death game of mental chess, Rachel and Truman find themselves first attracted, then compelled by each other. Innuendos, lies and physical threats assault them on all sides. When the truth can’t be found, an enemy often resorts to rumor. As the pair fight for their reputations, their freedoms and their very lives, can they also fight the growing attraction between them?
Novak has woven a story that will thrill the lovers of Regency romance. With rich detail and elegant plotting, she serves up a provocative, sexy novel with an outstanding mystery at its heart. Without telegraphing her moves, she manages to reveal the layers one by one. Her lively descriptions will have readers smelling the smoke of the fireplace, ducking the mine’s low ceilings and feeling the cold of the winter snow.
For romance lovers, mystery lovers and Brenda Novak’s legion of fans, “Through the Smoke” marks an exciting new step in her writing career.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review copy provided by the author or publisher with no restrictions as to content. All opinions are my own.
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