Historical fiction about an agent in Britain’s
special forces who falls in love with a girl he encounters on assignment.
In the second installment of her Gypsy series, Tate (The Gypsy’s Silence, 2014, etc.) creates another successful historical romance. Jeffrey Hale, the Viscount Trent, is a free-spirited young man in the late 1800s who has joined England’s special forces. Along with his friends Adrian St. Clair and Richard Stansby from Book 1, Trent receives an unusual assignment from his commanding officer. With the intention of reducing their overinflated egos, their supervisor sends the men to a small town where they are tasked with assisting in various civilian jobs. In his new position helping women run a library, Trent meets young Emily May, an orphan living with her grandparents. He quickly becomes attached to the girl and feels an overwhelming urge to protect her. Even so, when his commander declares the assignment complete, Trent leaves town with barely a backward glance. Years later, Trent’s fortune is read by a gypsy, who tells him he’s destined to fall in love with a girl he’s already met. A bit of a dandy at the time, Trent ignores the prediction, but as years pass, the constant rotation of women in his life grows tiresome. He longs to fulfill the prophecy and struggles to learn the identity of the mysterious woman the gypsy described. When he returns to Emily May’s hometown as a more mature man, this time to settle his late uncle’s estate, he realizes that little Emily May, now fully grown, is the woman with whom he is meant to spend his life. Trent wonders if he can reignite the schoolgirl crush she once harbored for him and if he will ever be the type of man she deserves. Like the first volume in the series, the story is filled with interesting period details and amusing facts about social mores in Victorian society. The narrative portrays characters with richness and depth, adding satisfying nuance to characters established in the first book. Tate continues to demonstrate notable skill in building romantic suspense that will keep readers turning pages.
A wholesome fairy-tale romance perfect for fans of light Victorian fiction.