Repaying a debt of honor by helping the illustrious General Sir Janus Paltry write his memoirs, Morgan Pearce must leave London--and a most delectable married woman--behind. And though he's not happy about venturing out to the officer's country estate, the dashing rogue cannot deny the creature comforts of Palfry Park or his instant attraction to a mysterious woman in a Bath chair.
Recovering from a carriage accident, and neglected by her family, Miranda Runyon spends her time alone ... until Morgan enters her life. At first, Miranda rebuff's his advances. But when Morgan's attentions begin to transform Miranda in both body and soul, she risks her heart for a love like none she has ever imagined.
The meaning of the title was a mystery to me. Not knowing what to expect I was pleasantly surprised when I realised the book featured an invalid heroine, Miranda Runyon. There are not many of those around, and it makes for an unusual and interesting plot. (As for the title, I found that Prospero is the protagonist of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ and his daughter is Miranda).
Morgan Pearce works in his uncle’s publishing business (much to his father’s resentment) and visits Colonel Sir Janus Palfry to help him write his memoirs. While there he accidentally meets Miranda, Sir Janus niece, who after a carriage accident that killed her parents 3years ago is paralysed and confined to a bath chair. Sir Janus keeps Miranda hidden from visitors and mostly confined in her room and looked after by servants. Morgan would like to help Miranda, both mentally and emotionally as well as physically if possible, as he is not certain that she is truly paralysed.
In the beginning Miranda behaves like shrew, rebuffing his attentions and wanting to be left alone, but Morgan perseveres in seeing her and talking to her, and Miranda finally comes to accept his company and his efforts on her behalf. He helps her, by playing cards with her, and helping her learn how to write again, as well as looking up medical texts and write to doctors for advice.
I really liked how Miranda’s and Morgan’s relationship develops and how they get to know and like each other. Morgan was great, as was Miranda. I even liked her in the beginning when she was peevish and quite rude. I also liked how the author is questioning Morgan’s motives and feelings. He is nice guy, playing the role of the good Samaritan, but while he grows to like Miranda a lot, the reader gets the feeling that he does not seem to consider Miranda as his future partner (ie wife), but only as a friend. And that the fact that she can not walk is the reason for that, and if Miranda was not a an invalid, but a ‘normal’ young woman he would see her differently. Of course by the end of the book Morgan realises his mistake.
There is also a nice secondary romance between Morgan’s brother Kitty and Morgan’s friend Phillip who was injured in the war (he has lost a leg). The fact that Morgan was not able to help Phillip, gave him an added motive to want to help Miranda, when he first met her.
All in all, a very enjoyable book. I really liked the invalid heroine theme and she does not get cured before she ends up living happily ever after the hero, a fact that I really appreciated. In other such books (or book, as I have not read many with this theme), the heroine gets to be cured and can walk again before the hero and heroine end up happily together. As if a heroine with a disability is not acceptable - not good enough for the hero - and has to be fixed first. Thankfully Ms Butler avoids this, and the book is better as a result. While not perfect, it is a book I can heartily recommend.