Oh my but this blurb does not do justice to this wonderful, sweet and very touching love story. Ms. Knightley’s début novel tells the story of two people who come to know each other through the correspondence first, and then many years later both feel the physical attraction that was years in making.
Lady Evelyn Moore is a lady to be reckoned with ever since she was a child. She loves her family, but adores her brother Richard , so when someone such as a friend from his boarding school begins to threaten that relationship, she decides to put him in his place by ordering telling him that Richard already has a best friend and he is to leave him be.
“‘Dear Mr. Hastings,
I am sorry to tell you that my brother already has a best friend. I don’t care that you can shoot and ride well. Besides, I promise that you cannot ride better than me. Kindly leave Richard alone.’”
As a young Benedict Hastings receives this missive from his best friends sister, his curiosity takes flight and nothing would have stopped him from responding to this impertinent child.
“’Dear Lady Evelyn,
I would first like to say that, as a dear family friend to your brother, I give you leave to address me simply as Hastings. I hope you will likewise allow me to address you as Evie, since that is how I think of you, thanks to your brother’s many stories.
Second, I would like to point out that Richard is free to befriend whomever he chooses. As it is, we get along well, so I don’t expect I shall abandon our acquaintance, particularly over his little sister’s complaint. We are, as I have stated, great friends by now.
Third, as Richard is here at Eton, and you are off in the country, I don’t think it is very well done of you to begrudge him a friend. As his friend, I, for one, would want him to have as many acquaintances as would make him happy.
And finally, I am sure you do ride very well-for a girl.
I am, my lady, your most humble servant.
The Honorable Benedict Hastings”
From that point on we’re invited to witness the development and growth of two amazing characters. My heart went out to both and especially to the young man who through neglect of his family tries to fill the void with letters from this young woman who slowly but surely burrows deep into his heart.
Erin Knightley’s debut is well written and paced to perfection. She took her time in developing her characters and rolling out their story slowly, without rushing it. It was my pleasure to watch the budding, innocent relationship between Evie and Hastings turn into a passionate romance.
If you’re a fan of Carla Kelly, this novel will surely delight you with its wit and charm. It did me. It reminded me so much of the ‘old fashioned movies’ in which the sexually explicit scenes were left out, yet still made your heart race because they were left to my imagination. And this is what made this story, to me, unique and sweet.
*This review posted on Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine*