When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they’re grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life.
As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there’s something irresistible about a rogue.
Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed’s best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?
Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham’s paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the back roads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again?
Set during the heady days of the Georgian era when bodysnatching and highwaymen were never too far away, The Crown Spire is a thrilling romantic adventure rich with excitement and packed with historical detail.
Alice and her niece Beth are on the run from a life of cruelty, blackmail and terror, they are making their way to Edinburgh when in the middle of the night on the Great North road their carriage is come upon by a gang. Both ladies of forcefully taken off into the woods and off to an uncertain future, both unaware where the other is and scared of what is going to happen to them. But materializing out of the tree’s and darkness comes their rescuers and their rescuers just happen to be a pair of highway men.
On first meeting their highway men our ladies fall for their irresistable and roguish charm in a heartbeat, not unsurprising really! They are saved and taken to an inn where they meet the cheeky, charming Innkeeper Ed Hogan and the shy, gentlemanly Doctor James Dillingham. There is something irresistable and provoking about these two handsome Scotsmen, not to mention something very familiar, could it be that Alice and Beth may have met these two rogues before?
I love this, the chemistry between both our couples is rich and sensual and very sexy, like all Historical Romance fan’s I do particularly like a good rogue and The Crown spire doesn’t disappoint, in fact we are spoilt as there are two highway men to get to know and adore. It’s going into the super market and getting a two for one deal. Catherine and Willow have created two strong and charming heroes, that you are bound to fall for.
Alice froze in place, not daring to look around for fear that it should be nothing but a breeze playing tricks with her too-fertile imagination, the form just a shadow turned to flesh by her hope. slowly she lifted her gaze to the mirror once more, heart hammering “You came”.
“I thought” he replied in the voice that she had first heard on the Great North Road, “That I would look once more, just to be sure.”
“Forgive me,” she turned , her gaze drinking in the welcome sight of the masked man. “I was afraid.”
“I hope my note wasn’t too presumptuous?”
Not at all, she was quick to reassure him, thinking with a jolt of the paper she still treasured “I had wanted to contact you but did not know how. . .”
“You wanted tp see me?”
I did” she flushed to the roots od her hair at that admission, adding impulsively as she got to her feet, “I do.”
James and Alice, at fist you don’t think that they will work together, they are chalk and cheese they tend to constantly rub each other the wrong way and the bickering they do is actually really funny. But once you get to know each others past and how they became to be as lonely and detached as they are, you find that they have got more in common then first appearances.
James is a shy gentleman, he is unused to attention from the opposite sex and he is isn’t exactly sure of himself and his capabilities to woo, but once he has put the mask into place his true personality come to the service and he is romantic, enticing and arrogantly sure of himself that he literally sweeps Alice from her bed and off her feet. It is so lovely to see how with Alice he comes to lean less on his alter ego and become more the man that he is, which is exactly the same with Alice. While with James and her highway man she starts to live and her frosty mask gets replaced by a youthful, happy Alice.
“Hello” she murmured, leaning back against his touch.
“fancy,” he held up an ornate mask of bright blue silk, decorated with glittering beads, “being the most glamorous highway robber in Edinburgh?”
beth gave an excited squeal, eyebrow raising as she asked, “How could I say not to that?”
“I thought this was your colour,” Hogan laughed, kissing her cheek. “Get dressed, we’ve work to do!”
“Can I have a kiss first?” He was happy to oblige her request, lips soft against hers. Beth held it for a long moment, leaving him in do doubt as to her feelings until she finally broke the kiss to murmur, “I love you. . .”
“How could you not?” The reply was teasing, though he told her then. “I love you too.”
I have to say that my favorite has to be Ed, he is a proper rogue whether that be as himself the Landlord of the “Rum Duchess” or as the cheeky highway man. He is so sure of himself that he does border the line of arrogance but he doesn’t care, his joyful and exuberant persona is catching and you can feel your self just smiling as he charms his way around Edinburgh. But he is a loyal and good-hearted man, the chemistry between him and Beth is electric after just one meeting te=hey can’t keep their hands off each other, it is steamy and fun and sweet, he his protectiveness of Beth is absolute.
This is a charming foray into Georgian history, the story is fast and exciting, you know where the story is going with our couples but the way we get to there is thrilling, the only flaw I have for The Crown Spire is that because it is character driven we don’t get as much history and detailing about Georgian Edinburgh as I would have liked, but apart from that it is a great book, very entertaining and one that I would recommend.