The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter
Mary Ellen Dennis
Sourcebooks Casablanca April 2011
Elizabeth Wyndham is the daughter of an innkeeper and a successful Gothic romance author. She has been content with being a spinster and has become obsessed with one of her book characters she has "the raven-haired knight." Beth finds her knight in Rand Remington.
Rand survived the American Wars and is unable to come to grips with his 18th century England. Rand has turned into somewhat of a Robin Hood/highwayman and robs the rich to give to the poor. He knows full well he could be imprisoned and hanged; but he doesn't fear the consequences, until he meets Elizabeth. Together, they set on quite an adventurous path and fall madly in love.
All the while, Elizabeth's family want her to marry Walter, a forty something man who is obsessed with Elizabeth and will stop at nothing to have her. He is certain he can change her mind and eventually she will love him. Unfortunately, he wants someone who will do his bidding and bow down to his wishes. That includes giving up her writing.
The story is based on a poem about two lovers who will die for each other. All in all it is a very good story. The first chapter or so moves a little slow; but once Beth and Rand meet, the story takes off. It doesn't seem possible that two individuals could keep getting into such a tangle. You keep waiting for the next disaster to happen. The big problem I had with the entire story was Beth. She starts off looking like she is a strong character; but in truth she is rather wimpy. It is hard to imagine the pair falling so much in love. She wants you to think she is a self sufficient writer; but she will turn around and bow down to Walter and her family at every turn. Walter convinces her to believe him with little difficulty. She blames her maid for not keeping her mouth shut and she turns around and does the same thing.
Even though I was not fond of the character of "bonny Bess," it was a very pleasant romance and actually keeps you turning the pages to see what will happen next. If you are fond of historical fiction, I would definitely recommend this book. It is not your usual romance.
I wish to thank Sourcebooks for providing this ARC to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated in any way except for receiving the book to read and review.
I give The Landlord's Black-Eyed Daughter 4 out of 5 stars