It was a time of chivalry and grace but also a time of turmoil in antebellum America. Fletcher Stedman is the crown prince of Virginia’s famous Seabrook Plantation. The handsome rakehell is a man of dreams with headstrong passions and an ingenious mind. Suddenly his dreams are shattered and his life ripped from him by a jealous cousin, and Fletcher is put to the test fighting for his life and his sanity. Kyndee Brock always dreams of marrying her handsome Fletcher–her kindred spirit and dearest love. One day, however, Fletcher mysteriously disappears. Kyndee must spend the next decade defying fate, following her heart to reunite them and recapture the love that they had been denied.
Ten years ago Fletcher Stedman was attacked, kidnapped and then incarcerated in a madhouse. He spent six year there, managing to keep his sanity along the way. When a fire broke out at the facility he managed to escape and has sent the last four years becoming human again after being treated like an animal for so long. He is now ready to go back to his family and seek revenge on the man he knows was the instigator of it all, his cousin, Buck. You see, Buck has come to live with the Stedman family when he was 12 and his parents had been killed in fire themselves. Buck and Fletcher never got along but Fletcher just went about his business and tried not to spend too much time thinking about Buck. Apparently he should have.
Now he’s back in his home town and he’s finding that his revenge is going to take way more time and energy than he thought as Buck has covered his tracks at every turn. On top of that the woman who he loved before and has never stopped loving is now Buck’s wife – oh the agony! He can’t decide whether he loves or hates Kyndee but he can’t stop thinking about her.
Fletcher has a hard time convincing his best friend that he is who he says he is as he now is taller, has a beard, and a raspy voice due to the knife that entered his throat the night of his kidnapping. He isn’t recognized by anyone and he is determined that no one know until he is ready to tell them.
Kyndee is miserable. She longs for her lost love, Fletcher, and has only married Buck at her father’s persistence. The reason he was so adamant that the match be made is because the father was facing financial ruin and Buck offered to pay the families debts if Kyndee marry him. Buck is a loving and attentive husband…in public but behind the bedroom door he is rough and unkind cares nothing for Kyndee at all except for the fact that he now possesses the woman that his cousin Fletcher once loved. Kyndee tries to deal with Buck as best she can but she really doesn’t like the man at all and letting him touch her is completely revolting.
When Kyndee meets Zachary Brown she is stunned at how many mannerisms he has that her long lost Fletcher once had. She is drawn to the man and doesn’t know why. When evidence comes to her that Zachary is actually Fletcher she is thrilled and turns to him for verification. Fletcher is coarse and angry with her but she loves him nonetheless. The couple have a volatile relationship to say the least. Fletcher doesn’t understand why Kyndee ever married Buck and Kyndee is honor bound to her father not to let on what the issue was. Kyndee understands why Fletcher feels the need to get back at Buck but yet she knows that even if that happens and the Stedman family plantation goes back to Fletcher, Kyndee will still be married to Buck.
Normally books with revenge plots aren’t my thing but when I read the blurb to this one it really piqued my interest enough that I wanted to read it.
The book had so many twists and turns, ups and downs – both with Kyndee and Fletcher’s relationship as well as the revenge against Buck – that it’s hard to summarize it all. The main parts of the story were varied from rarely and I really liked that about the book. Fletcher had so many demons inside him from his time in the madhouse and I really felt for the man. He didn’t always go about things in a logical manner and things rarely went his way when he wanted them to. I have to say I really liked that about the book. It didn’t just kowtow to the hero of the book – it made him jump through hoops before he could get what he wanted.
Kyndee was an incredibly strong character. For someone who had been pampered all of her life she truly had a core of steel and I really liked that about her which made the book that much better to read.
I think the issues I have with the book and why it didn’t get a stronger rating from me was the length of the book. I think because things weren’t wrapped up earlier (I was right there with it until about pages 350 or 375 and then I just needed to be done) the story started having a more melodramatic feel to it and it got to be a bit much. A couple others were…I got a little freaked out when the hero stripped and got in bed with the heroine when she was sedated. Now he didn’t know she was sedated and when he realized it he stopped his fooling around but it just kind of gave me the creeps. Another was the hero and heroine having sex right after she was beaten. Really? I know she’s strong but come on, that’s a little much. Anyway….don’t get me wrong – I liked the whole story but it did have it’s moments.
Rating: 4 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place