When a Stranger Loves Me
Avon, Feb 2009, $ 6.99
In 1874 on the Western tip of the Jersey Islands, Lady Chelsea is besides herself after receiving a note from Lord Jerome Carruthers. He coldly informs her that her brother Lord Neufeld has no offspring after a decade of marriage and is ailing; he will inherit leaving her and her mom homeless unless she marries him, a man many years her senior. When she finds a man lying on the beach having been washed from the sea, she thinks she has the answer to finding an heir. She will seduce the stranger who has no idea who he is as he suffers from amnesia. Her pregnancy will keep the estate and her from odious Carruthers.
However, Chelsea’s plan goes astray when she falls in love with the kind amnesiac. His family arrives to bring him home and he realizes how his nurse used him. As he learns more about the cause of his memory loss, he too is in love, but no longer trusts his hostess.
Though readers might assume Chelsea’s risky plan as inane, her desperation will convince the audience that she sees no alternative unless she marries the despicable Jerome. She and her amnesiac make for a fun Victorian tale although his mystery memory loss seems too easily resolved. Still historical romance fans will appreciate Julianne MacLean’s fine Victorian romance e (see MY WILDEST FANTASIES and THE MISTRESS DIARIES).