(Romance of the Turf #2) by Theresa Romain
Certainly this Romance of the Turf story took a different direction. Old yearnings, death and mysteries play out between Wales and Ireland.
Lady Kate Whelan was widowed when her husband was killed in a steeplechase race. She's the daughter of a Welsh racing baronet, Sir William Chandler. Kate had been married to an Irish Lord, Conall Ritchie Durham, the late fifth Earl of Whelan. Con's best friend was a Welshman, the laconic, humorous Evan Rhys, a noted antiquities expert. I loved Romain's turn of phrase, such as when she described how Evan and Con first met and the pranks they got up to. As Con states, it was from a 'trellis of such events ... did their friendship cling and grow.'
Evan has been in love with Kate since he first met her. They had been the best of friends. Evan however has not seen Kate since Conall died, two years ago. He blames himself for Con's death.
I enjoyed Evan's wry, self separating burst of humour and the way Kate responded in kind. I enjoyed his conversations with himself with regard to Kate.
The hurt of Evan's retreat and of Kate's puzzlement to that action lies between them. 'Con's death had [indeed] changed many things.'
Returning to Ireland with Kate prior to leaving for Greece, errant thoughts and emotions previously tamped down rise to the surface.
Horses do play a part in this story, although the plot line takes off into unexpected places. They are more a back drop to the action. Action that unfolds into old grievances and revenge.
The tension and connections between these Kate and Evan are well played and all results in an excellent read.
A NetGalley ARC