Wednesday, February 28, 2024

HISTORICAL ROMANCE/MYSTERY: Protecting Her Heart by Nancy Campbell Allen



London, 1887 

When newly graduated medical doctor Charlotte Duvall receives word that her father has died, she immediately leaves America and returns home to see to her family’s estate. Among her father’s possessions is a box of her late mother’s letters, which feels like a balm to Charlotte’s grief-stricken heart. But the letters contain some inconsistencies that suggest there was more to her mother’s death than Charlotte had been told. She turns to the one man she trusts more than anyone—her treasured friend and director of London’s police force, John Ellis. John Ellis has harbored feelings for Charlotte ever since he first met her. Tucked into his heart are thoughts of her sharp mind, quick wit, and remarkable beauty. Though he has not yet found the courage to share his feelings with the young doctor, he is eager to help her in her hour of need. Investigating the details of a death was not how Charlotte imagined she would find love, but as she and John work to unravel a dark web of secrets and lies, she finds herself relying on him more and more—and opening her heart to him in the process. As the danger draws ever closer, John vows to do everything in his power to protect Charlotte from harm. But he fears protecting her heart might come at the cost of breaking his own.


I loved returning to the world of Amelia, Eva, and Charlotte, three cousins who continue the tradition of stepping out of traditional women's roles as members of the Notorious Hamptons. I'm only sad that the series seems to be over. In this final volume, Charlotte returns home for the funeral of her father after he sends her a letter indicating his efforts to find out what really lead to her mother's death many years earlier. As Charlotte follows in her father's steps, she quickly discovers that someone has something to hide and it puts herself and those she loves in danger. She turns to John Ellis, a friend and director of London's police force, for help. While searching for answers, John and Charlotte learn that their feelings for each other are stronger than they realized previously. The twists and turns of the story kept me turning the pages while the romantic moments made me smile. Neither John or Charlotte is willing at first to accept their feelings for each other as something that could lead to marriage, but it all happens so naturally that they are in deep almost before they realize it. It's delightful to read about Charlotte's cousins and their families again as well. Both an intriguing mystery and a sweet romance that satisfied this soul's reading desires.

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