‘Miss Prestwick’s Crusade’ by Anne Barbour

mpc abSTORY: Miss Helen Prestwick’s mission to prove her nephew is the legitimate heir to the Earldom of Camberwell hits a snag when she finds herself attracted to Edward Beresford…the current Earl of Camberwell!

REVIEW: Edward Beresford, the twelfth Earl of Camberwell, is unmarried and lives at Whitehouse Abbey with his aunt, the Dowager Countess of Camberwell, her daughter, Artemis, 18, and the Countess’s brother, Stamford Welladay.  Edward became the Earl when his nephew, Christopher, was killed in military action.

Miss Helen Prestwick and her duenna, Miss Barnstaple, have journeyed from Portugal with Helen’s 6-month-old nephew, William.  Helen’s sister, Beatrice, married Christopher and gave birth to William and died soon after.  Helen is heading to Whitehouse Abbey to meet Christopher’s family and introduce them to William Christopher Beresford, the real twelfth Earl of Camberwell.

When Edward and his family encounter Helen and William, they are shocked at her claim.  However, they all immediately fall in love with William and agree to let them stay at the Abbey until it can be proven whether William is indeed the true and legitimate heir.  The problem is that Beatrice must have hidden the marriage certificate that would prove that she had married Christopher.  However, they were married by an English minister who has since returned to England.  The next step is to find this man to attest to the fact that he did indeed marry Christopher and Beatrice.

Helen has an extensive background in identifying and repairing artwork.  As the Abbey is rich in exquisite pieces of art, Helen agrees to fill her time cataloging the art and making any repairs as needed.  It may take some time to find the minister and she prefers to stay busy.

Edward and Helen spend time together and as they get to know one another better, they find themselves attracted to each other.  Yet Helen is hiding a dark secret.  When some objects d’art go missing, some assume that Helen may have stolen them.  But did she or is there someone else with a greedy heart?

This started out as a good story but it tended to slow down and the “hot one minute, cold the next” interactions between Helen and Edward became somewhat wearing.  However, I would certainly not be against reading more novels by this author.

Connie for b2b

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