Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Sara Thomas is in between jobs.  She can't handle a lot of noise or a lot of people around her.  She prefers to work alone.  When she's offered a job her cousin has found, her first question is where she will work.  But as soon as she sees the cipher she has to break, she's hooked.  She enjoys being an amateur codebreaker.

Sourcebooks Landmark sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It is being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

What Sara is asked to do is translate diary pages.  Mary Dundas is a Jacobite exile that has lost her family, her home, and her feeling of worth.  When her brother says he is coming to take her home with him, she's elated.  She will finally meet his family and be at home with one of her family members.  But they don't even make it to his home.  He takes her to another house and offers her services as camouflage for a Jacobite supporter.  Once again, Mary is disappointed in her family.

The further she goes in the diary, the more Sarah realizes this is not just an idle journal with a commoner.  It's the story of a young woman drawn up into affairs she has no experience with and danger she can't even see.  It might have been about three hundred years ago, but she finds herself worrying about Mary.

In the meanwhile, Sara is finding Luc much too interesting.  He's the ex-husband of the cook and they have a child together.  She enjoys the whole family.  And Luc is always there for her.  But he doesn't know about her problem and she has had no successes with relationships yet.

While Sara is trying to decide what to do with Luc, Mary finds herself falling for her Highland protector.  He's damaged from war, but she thinks broken things can be mended.

I thoroughly enjoyed both women's stories.  The historical reference was interesting, Mary was very brave, and Sara is learning to live with her problem.  This was a lengthy read but it was worth it.  I like happily ever after.

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