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 backroads 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.
A Georgian romp told in the old-style of historical romance was just the thing when I wanted to dive into the past with something light. Highwaymen, Heroines with Secrets, Bustling Inns, and Heroes who are more than they seem all made for an entertaining story.
Alice and her niece Beth are fleeing a bad situation and as their journey nears its end they are accosted by ruffians who would take their goods, but also their virtue. Just when things are dire, the ladies are rescued by a pair of highwaymen in masks.
But the adventure is far from over because they make their way to a nearby inn to meet a jovial and flirtatious innkeeper and a dour physician. Alice is sharp with the physician when he is called in to care for her turned ankle and he returns her attitude with a bit of his own. Meanwhile, young Beth is taken with the twinkling eyes and bold smiles of the innkeeper which makes an otherwise dreary life with her aunt in Edinburgh now fill with color and hope for more excitement.
Both ladies settle into their new life, hiding their past, but this includes daydreams of handsome highwaymen while slowly getting to know and appreciate their respective innkeeper and doctor. Meanwhile, Alice’s abusive and plotting husband is on the hunt for his missing wife and niece.
Alright, this one is told from four different perspectives of all the main players. It was set in Georgian era Edinburgh with a light touch on the historic details and more attention to a colorful plot.
At first, I was none too taken with either lady, really. Beth was impetuous and immature while Alice was pinch-lipped and snobby, but slowly they relax as their respective gentleman work on their attitudes and hearts. Beth is not sure what caused all the fuss that forced her to leave behind all she has known and resents her aunt’s coldness and her past actions. When I realized what was behind Alice and caused her caution and behavior, I had a change of heart and was rooting for her to take a chance on fun and give James, the doctor a chance.
James Dillingham has closed in on himself and his only interest has been his child until Alice forces him to sit up and notice. They snipe and snap at each other and slowly she brings him to life again.
Ed has his work cut out for him because though Beth is interested, he worries that he is beneath her or that she will let her insecurity and jealousy get the best of her.
Much of the plot are the four main characters growing and growing their relationships. But there is always the threat of Alice’s husband looming on the horizon to make things get very interesting. This was an easy and mild read for me as I envied these two ladies their dashing highwaymen. I think those who enjoy historical romance will appreciate this two for one.
Romance Roundabout #8 HR
Literary Pickers #9 Handkerchief
Mt. TBR #6
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