Japanese puzzle boxes, a treasure hunt, an abducted lady, a darstardly villain, an American in a search of his heritage and all at Christmas time.
Brimming with unforgettable people, Lady Audrina Bradleigh is thrown into the maelstrom when her abduction goes wrong, she's rescued, and then forbidden by her harsh father to return to London for her dearest sister's wedding, in case the scandal threatening to surround her puts an end to the upcoming nuptials and her father's chance for a Duke in the family.
Audrina is a rather marvellous character, searching for understanding and acceptance, in a male dominated world where woman are expected to know their place. Audrina wants none of that. She wants to forge her own way.
Giles Rutherford, is an American helping his father follow his dream, his 'adventure.'
A totally unexpected read with a cast of very amusing and diverse characters. Indeed, Romaine provides us with a mixture of the quixotic and earthy people who lighten the way, and the occasional idea or sentiment expressed so delightfully that they give pause for reflection. I loved the idea of graphed paper and construction, the hint of the drafting paper for an architect upon which dreams are rendered. There really are a host of gems like this that nibble at our consciousness.
As deeper understandings, respect and attraction grows between Giles and Audrina, so the quest that Giles and his father, Richard are upon, becomes more mysterious and enveloping.
Larger questions about relationships, love and life bounce along in the background, grabbing our attention and adding to the action. Like Audrina's reflection, that to be accepted and loved, 'just as she was...was one of the most seductive thoughts a woman could entertain. Well, she could think of others,' is a wonderful example of Romaine's wry humour and relational wisdom.
A NetGalley ARC