After checking out the the brief book description, I was looking forward to reading this book. About 1/3 of the way into the book, I knew it wasn't my type of book but decided to go ahead and finish it so I could write a review.
Background: Dera Brennan's mother was a beautiful girl who left Ireland to go to England when she was a young woman and eventually became the mistress of an English aristocrat. She wasn't particularly nice to Dera and when Dera asked who her father was, her mother told her she didn't know and that Dera was a bastard. When her aristocrat quit supporting her, she felt that having a young daughter was a hindrance to her future plans so she sent Dera to live with her Uncle Timothy in Ireland. Uncle Timothy was the overseer of the property owned by Lord Avery Fairfax. Although Uncle Timothy and his wife, Lydia weren't cruel to Dera, they weren't exactly the picture of a loving family either. Eventually Dera becomes her uncle's assistant and takes care of the rent ledgers of Lord Fairfax's tenants.
Irishman Quint Flannery's family home had been taken away from his family when he was a boy because they were Roman Catholics. His family's property was given to Lord Avery Fairfax and the Flannerys were now tenants on the property they used to own. One day Dera discovered that the Flannery family's rent wasn't being paid and her uncle explained that the father of the home had died and that his son, Quint, now lives in the cottage with his mother.
Being a compassionate girl, Dera decides to visit the Flannery home and check out their situation. She is somewhat taken aback when the handsome Quint answers the door. There is a spark between them and his mother, who apparently has been gifted with the "sight" tells Quint that Dera is "the one." When Dera asks Quint was his mother means, he explains that his mother means that Dera is the one he will marry. However, Dera is still very young so Quint tells her that they will wait for a few years and then they will be together.
*******Huge Spoilers******* Time goes by and eventually Quint and Dera do get together and become intimate, however, Quint always puts Dera off about marriage. He is part of an Irish rebel faction who take their vengeance out on the English intruders by burning the homes of the English aristocrats who have been given the properties formerly belonging to the Irish. From here on out the story goes completely downhill.
#1 - Although Quint confesses love for Dera and has intimate relations with her, he beds another young woman on the side on a regular basis.
#2 - Dera is so beautiful that she gets the attention of Lord Avery Fairfax who wants to marry her. Because she is being pressured to marry Fairfax by her Uncle Timothy and his wife, Lydia, Dera goes to Quint to tell him they must get married so she won't have to marry Fairfax. When she arrives at Quint's cottage, she hears sounds and yes, you've got it, he is having sex with his "other woman" and Lydia hears Quint speak words of love to the other woman.
#3 - Hurt and angry, Dera marries Lord Fairfax. Quint works in the stable at Lord Fairfax's home. When he tries to get Dera to tell him why she married Fairfax, Dera won't tell him the true reason. Fairfax is unable to consummate the marriage and alternates between kindness and abusiveness to Dera for the few years that she is married to him.
#4 - Eventually Dera and Quint do get together even while she is still married to Fairfax and she explains why she married Lord Fairfax. Quint tries to explain his relationship with the other woman as being only physical and tells Dera he has sent her away. However, Quint continues burning homes and eventually is arrested and sentenced to hang. Quint's evil friend, Jem, approaches Dera and tells her he can get Quint out of jail but she has to do a favor for him - yes, you guessed it - the favor is sexual favors for Jem, which she agrees to and Quint does escape from prison. Because Quint knows that Dera knew about the rebels' hiding place and what they were doing, he believes she is the one who betrayed him. However, he knows nothing of the price Dera paid for his freedom.
#5 - Shortly after Quint escapes from prison, Lord Fairfax is murdered. By now Dera is also pregnant with Quint's child but Quint has left for places unknown to get away from the warrant of death hanging over his head. A kind friend of Dera's, Dominick, asks her to marry him and go to live with him in his home in New Orleans. Eventually Dera agrees thinking she will never see Quint again.
#6 - After a few years in New Orleans, Dera sees Quint, who is part of a group of Irishmen who now work for the French government, keeping peace in New Orleans. They acknowledge one another but although Quint and Dera know in their hearts they still love each other, he is still angry and she doesn't want to betray Dominick who she respects and honors. In the meantime, her teen-age sister-in-law, Rosette, who is man crazy, falls for Quint and visits him at his office which has a cot and yes, you guessed it, Quint locks the door and relations ensue.
So, at this point, for this reader, no matter if Quint and Dera get together, this book has not made me "happy, happy, happy." In fact this is the kind of story line I do not like at all. Confusion and unrequited love throughout the entire book! The H/h are never on the same page long enough to get together in the way it matters at the right time - too many other factors entering in. But the primary issue I have is that Quint declared his love for Dera over and over again but come on - you're going to have sex with her 17 year old sister-in-law??? As is the manner in most of this genre, in the last few pages all is resolved - but it is too late for this reader! How can all be resolved with this stupidity?
Thankfully, I read fast, this book only took up a couple of hours on this book. If my review will help anyone who feels the way I do about this type of story line where the "Hero" of the story can't keep his trousers buttoned and the "Heroine" is always marrying someone other than the man she loves, then at least I have accomplished something with the time it has taken to write this review.