Amy Cole wants the freedom to take care of herself while her brother, Robert, is away from home. But he has left her under the care of a friend—and she cannot even leave the estate without being followed!
Then, one day in town, she manages to escape her escort— and runs into a former soldier in search of his missing bride. Sir Jason Archer is convinced that Amy is his beloved Désirée —and drugs her so he can take her home with him. When she awakens, Amy finds herself in a foreign manor, surrounded by strangers, all of whom believe she is Désirée.
No matter how much she protests, Jason refuses to accept her story. So she resigns herself to playing along until she can manage an escape. But much to her surprise, Amy starts to grow fond of this insistent, enigmatic man. She can only hope that when he finally discovers she is truly not his Desiree that he will love her just the same...
Dorothy Mack is a favourite author of mine since she has written many books I really enjoyed. However, I am in the unhappy position to report that this is not one of them.
Sir Jason Archer is looking for his wife Desiree, who shortly after their marriage run away with an another man. Encountering Miss Amy Cole he mistakes her for his wife and he abducts her. Yes, you read that right! He mistook Amy for Desiree, apparently because both have amazingly green eyes. Even though Amy protests and thinks him a lunatic, it seems the resemblance is uncanny and it is not just the eyes. Amy and Desiree are apparently each other’s double. Mistaken identity plots are not my thing really, but particularly here where the mistake is based on the most feeble of excuses, ie their very unrealistic likeness (rather eg than a disguise, or not having met before), I was out of patience with this book very early on. The resemblance makes this sound like a child’s fairy tale, or a paranormal novel. And I like neither.
Sir Jason thought he had fallen in love with Desiree, but he quickly found out after the marriage she is was a selfish, conniving, money-grasping liar. He wants to come to some agreement with her to either continue in this farce of a marriage or get a divorce. Poor Amy becomes convinced that Sir Jason is not a bad guy after all, it is just that he believes she is his wife, so pretty quickly she forgives the abduction, and just hopes that she can convince him eventually that she is not Desiree. Amy of course is much nicer than Desiree, but does this make Sir Jason think that he maybe got the wrong woman after all and Amy is telling the truth ? No.
Also, the romance did not work at all for me. It is conceivable for Amy to start to like her abductor, once she realises he is not a lunatic and that she and Desiree must be identical. For Sir Jason however, who has come to despise Desiree it is not possible to start liking her now! Since Amy is nicer than Desiree was, Sir Jason thinks that Desiree is playacting or putting a show of amiability to get something. How is it possible to start to like a person you thoroughly dislike, and the reasons for the dislike are still there, ie the person has not changed ? (at least that is what Sir Jason thinks). This gave the book the deathblow for me, and I skimmed over the last third having no interest at all for how their complicated situation would be resolved so they can live happily ever after. Which I am sure they manage to do, but I could not care less about how this happy end would come about.
If you would like to try Dorothy Mack ,skip this. You would be much better off trying one of her other books, like: The General’s Granddaughter, An Unconventional Courtship, A Prior Attachment, The Unlikely Chaperone, The Courtship of Chloe, or The Counterfeit Widow.