by Juliet Daines
Edition: ARC, 2017
Synopsis: When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago. It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.
Elaine has been carrying the weight of her brother’s disappearance for years and she hopes the recent disgrace of her father will not ruin her chances of a secure future. Quickly she learns that the past can threaten the present.
This is set at a time when every level of society had ties to smuggling and keeping that work secret meant anything could happen. Elaine’s entry into this environment as someone who didn’t have a part to this business was believable. She was a rather difficult character to like at first, but she does progress through the story.
Gareth was even harder to enjoy, so the romance aspect of the story suffers. The mystery was rather predictable, making the suspense what I took from the story.
There was also hints of supernatural with the hinted appearance of a ghost to lead Elaine to what she needs to find.
Overall, it is an interesting novel and one I would recommend to readers who like suspense in their historical fiction.