BOOK REVIEW: Sophie Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her onw artwork out of sight. In provate, she paintes the picturesque north Devon coast, popular with artists--including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in Sophie than the landscape.
Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responcibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and let his host's daughter in serious trouble.
Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protectinve of the young lady, who somehow seems familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own feelings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle, as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.
Desparate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her firts love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the Captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?
MY REVIEW: I like Julie Klassen's books. She writes historical fiction based in the 1800's, which is one of my favorite eras to read about. Her books tend to be longer than the average novel length--closer to 500 pages as compared to the normal 300-350 pages.
In this book, Sophie falls in love with Wesley, but when he rushes off to Italy without saying goodbye, her terrible secret forces her to marry his brother, Stephen. When Stephen's leave is over and he goes back to France, Wesley makes his appearance and is shocked and hurt to find Sophie has married his brother. He instantly starts persuading her to run away with him, but Sophie stands firm.
Also portrayed in the story is former lietenant Carlton Keith, who lost an arm in the war and was saved by Stephen, making him a family friend. He is staying with the family, and while he is not a main character, he is a nice fill-in.
I liked the book, and while there were no profound truths to impress and change one's life, it was an enjoyable, cosy read.