True As Fate (The Ashford Chronicles #2) by Laurie Alice Eakes
Synopsis: Lady Chloe Ashford detests going to balls, loathes social pretense, and finds the very idea of hunting for a husband obscene. But she has an even more scandalous secret: she once helped an American—the enemy—escape from Dartmoor Prison. Now it’s three years later, and Ross Trenerry is back—and in trouble again. So is her traitorous heart. He doesn’t know she’s the one responsible for sending him to a second prison, and she has no intention of telling him.
A former privateer, Ross’s legendary luck has finally run out. Only one woman lies between him and freedom. He desperately needs Chloe’s help to prove he hasn’t committed treason, but he’s distracted by the passion that flares between them.
They set out on a cross-country adventure together to prove Ross’s innocence, but peril soon dogs their heels. As they race to reach their appointed rendezvous on time, they must fight their growing attraction and focus on discovering who is behind this deadly plot. Will they finally admit their love and put the pieces together before it’s too late?
Review: I received this books as part of the NERFA romance writers contest to be judged. First, the good aspects: the plot was amazing, the characters were strong, the conflict well-developed and multifaceted. I loved the characters and their adventure. Chloe was such a strong female protagonist and she kept Ross on his toes. Ross was complex and well-defined. You understood his motivations, his drive for vengeance, and even why he clung to the ideal that Chloe’s sister represented. Overall great story. Now for my one and only negative…it was more a historical fiction then a historical romance. Yes they kissed and they were attracted to each other but beyond one, maybe two, passionate kisses there is absolutely no passion. No sex, no indecent moments, nothing. If you can keep in mind that this isn’t really a romance, then you will love the story because it was great, but I expected a romance and didn’t get it. Yes it is a love story, but a tame and “proper for the times” kind of love story. I’m giving this 4 stars because the plot and characters are strong enough and entertaining enough that I kept with it, but I am disappointed there was no passion. If it had that it would definitely be a 5 star romance all the way. I do recommend it, just go into it knowing there won’t be the traditional romance novel qualities that we look for and enjoy when we pick up one to read.