Can you trust a man with no name?
Beth Jago appears to have the idyllic life, she has a trade to earn a living and a cottage of her own in Cornwall’s beautiful River Valley. Yet appearances can be deceptive …
Beth has a secret. Since inheriting her isolated cottage she’s been receiving threats, so when she finds a man in her home she acts on her instincts. One frying pan to the head and she has robbed the handsome stranger of his memory and almost killed him.
Fearful he may die, she reluctantly nurses the intruder back to health. Yet can she trust the man with no name who has entered her life, or is he as dangerous as his nightmares suggest? As they learn to trust one another, the outside threats worsen. Are they linked to the man with no past? Or is the real danger still outside waiting … and watching them both?
Well this is wonderful. Victorian Romances are a favourite of mine, it was an era that had so much change and out of it comes so many wonderful stories and this is one of them, it is incredibly good. This is the first book I have read by Victoria Cornwall, even though I have always loved the look and sound of her work. I cannot believe that I have never read any of her books until now, but I will be reading more. This is an amazing introduction to this exceptionally talented author’s work. It has everything that I look for in a romance; bang on the mark historic details, strong and vulnerable characters and a twisty plot that keeps you wanting more.
After the death of her beloved grandfather, Beth is left to live out her life in relative peace and quiet. Well that is what her grandfather promised her, he promised her a home for life and with her sewing she has an income. But that idyllic life soon gets thrown out the window, when suddenly she is receiving threats about her home, she feels she is being watched and out of the blue a strange man bursts into her home with intentions that are as mysterious as the man himself. Beth does what any woman would do in these circumstances; she protects herself. She cracks him with the frying pan, only for her conscience and good, caring nature to kick in and she soon keeps the stranger in her cottage to care for him.
But her actions have consequences as the dark and devilishly attractive stranger has lost his memory. He doesn’t know who he is, where he is and most importantly why he suddenly burst into Beth’s home and what he wanted from her.
My goodness, Beth is an incredible character; strong, funny, independent…plus she can’t half wield a heavy, copper frying pan. But she is also a young woman who is slightly out of her depth, she has suddenly found herself with far more on her plate than she ever expected and yet being a resilient woman, Beth takes it all in her stride. True at times her actions could be construed as rash, but that is what I love about her, she is very real. Anyone who has read my reviews will know how much I like the ordinary characters, those that have had to fight for everything. Which is why I really like Beth, she is just a very normal working-class woman, who so any can relate to. She has a hatred for the rich she doesn’t trust those with privilege due to her own, somewhat scandalous background and that loathing has really made her the strong woman she is now. she admires and loves the regular man working man.
The man she call’s ‘Luke’ is as confused and perplexed by the whole situation as she, he initially blames her for the turn of events. Once he has regained consciousness and starts getting his strength back he begins to get terrifying flash backs that invade his dreams. Flashbacks that are so disturbing even he starts to wonder who on earth he is and whether he is a good man or not. And even he feels remorse for how he barged into Beth’s life. Like Beth, my heart breaks for ‘Luke’ there is a lot of darkness about him, he is powerful, and he has a raw brutal masculinity about him that is both intimidating and intriguing. ‘Luke’ is a large, beast of a man who has secrets – even if he can’t remember what they are. He is so vulnerable too and that is the side of him that drew me to him. When he start’s getting flash backs and the nightmares, which involves disturbing bloody bodies it makes you want to hug him and comfort him, not that this proud man would allow that comfort.
They are both very similar, both independent and reluctant to accept help. These two people are tough in mind and spirit and even though there are serious trust issues between them, you see that deep down they are kindred spirits. There is a connection between them and as they try and forge on try and solve all the mysteries that is surrounding them both, they each see the other in a completely different light.
This book is such a beautiful story! An emotional, compelling and atmospheric tale with two fascinating, beautifully developed and engrossing characters. The entwining plot takes you on a journey, a voyage of discovery as we follow these two wonderful people as they find the answers to all the questions that have arisen though out, there are twists and turns that keep the reader gripped right until the last page.
I am a huge fan of lots of detail and history while reading and this is absolutely spot on, perfect. The story is steeped in historic detailing, I particulay love the descriptions of Cornwall, each scene is excellently descriptive that it captures the readers imagination and whisk’s them away to another time and place, the realism grabs you in a way that you can practically taste the sea air. This is a clever, articulate and beautifully written story with a mesmerizing romance. Ms Cornwall’s writing is a pure joy to read, she captures your attention with her artful words. Just wonderful!
A definite page-turner, I cannot recommend this book enough and I will definitely be stocking my bookshelves with Ms Cornwall’s books.
This was an ARC copy via the publisher Choc Lit in exchange for an honest review.
The Daughter of River Valley is released today and can be purchased at Amazon.