This is a reworked story that has been out of print written by Sabrina Jeffries as Deborah Martin. Before I give my review, I just want to let everyone know that I have not read the original book so I cannot point out the differences between the two and which parts have been reworked. That being said, I totally enjoyed reading By Love Unveiled. I admit that it is different from what I am used to Sabrina writing, but the female protagonist, Marianne is as feisty and strong as her newer heroines.
The story starts off with Marianne, masquerading as Mina, a gypsy healer (she is half gypsy) in her hometown of Lydgate where she is trying to find the person responsible for framing her father (and her) with the plot to poison King Charles II. Garrett, the Earl of Falkham, returned to Lydgate to reclaim his family home that his uncle sold to the Winchilsea family. Meeting the masked Mina at the apothecary spiked Garrett’s interest most especially after she treated him after he was attacked by a highwayman in on his way back to his estate.
I love that Mina “masqueraded” herself in her own hometown where people actually knew her and helped her keep her identity a secret. I actually felt Garrett’s frustration when he suspected that the townspeople had information about Mina that they were not giving to him.
Mina and Garrett’s attraction was also palpable as I was reading the whole book. I felt their passion exploding from the pages and loved the pace that the author took with developing their romance.
The ultimate surprise that I had been when Mina’s father wasn’t dead at all! I also liked that Garrett asked Mina’s father for her hand in marriage when he was interrogating him.
The story went a little bit too fast for me when it came to the part of the confrontation between Garrett’s uncle (who had his parent’s killed and planted the poison in Mina’s father’s healing pouch), Garrett, the King, Mina and her father. I thought that it was pretty convenient for King Charles to side with Garrett without hearing more evidence. Granting that the uncle was already a known enemy of the king and he was already a suspect. Still, the stand-off was pretty fast.
All in all, I love the book as a whole. I am definitely waiting for the next book in the Restoration Series to be available. I believe it will be sometime this year (as per Sabrina’s website).
Oh, and the new cover is gorgeous as compared to the old cover shown below.