By Jane Fraser
Of the 4 books I have read by Rosamunde Pilcher writing as Jane Fraser, this was the best. One that I read, Dear Tom, I have not reviewed here because I read it long ago and don’t remember much about it. There are 6 other titles that I have not read simply because I have never been able to find them. This one had most of the Pilcher hallmarks. The heroine is a naive Scottish lass from the remote Hebrides who comes to London hoping to get some money from her very wealthy Grandfather whom she has never met. She is now destitute and needs the money to buy some land in order to start a bulb-growing business. Unfortunately, he is in Paris and on his way to his Villa on the Mediterranean. She finds his lawyer (the prospective love interest) who whisks her off to meet the grandfather at his villa.
There, she also encounters her glamorous Aunt and her sophisticated debutante daughter. Her aunt is adversarial but is more threatened and jealous than evil. All of the characters in the book were interesting and well-written. Although young Katy does have some irritating qualities, at least she is not a victim like many of Pilcher’s heroines are. She is a fish out of water and understandably intimidated by her new surroundings but she does have a backbone. In addition, unlike many of Pilcher’s heroines, she is hardworking, has a business plan, and wants to support herself and Jamie, her young charge. She is also pretty well educated for a girl of her age and background. As is common in her early Mills and Boon books, there is a big age difference between the hero and the heroine. Despite this, I liked the hero/lawyer pretty well even though he was a very heavy smoker(even more than is usual in her novels of the 60s). The thought that he will likely leave Katy a very young widow crossed my mind more than once. Her Grandfather was really cool, once he finally came on the scene.
The ending, which is really a kind of epilogue, is actually quite touching, seen, as it was, through the eyes of young Jamie who will be adopted by Katy and Adam. **4 stars out 5**
May 25, 2020