I’ve just finished Dangerous Secrets, by Caroline Warfield. Here’s the blurb:
When a little brown wren of an Englishwoman bursts into Jamie Heyworth’s private Hell and asks for help he mistakes her for the black crow of death. Why not? He fled to Rome and sits in despair with nothing left to sell and no reason to get up in the morning. Behind him lie disgrace, shame, and secrets he is desperate to keep.
Nora Haley comes to Rome at the bidding of her dying brother who has an unexpected legacy. Never in her sunniest dreams did Nora expect Robert to leave her a treasure, a tiny black-eyed niece with curly hair and warm hugs. Nora will do anything to keep her, even hire a shabby, drunken major as an interpreter.
Jamie can’t let Nora know the secrets he has hidden from everyone, even his closest friends. Nora can’t trust any man who drinks. She had enough of that in her marriage. Either one, however, will dare anything for the little imp that keeps them together, even enter a sham marriage to protect her.
I’ve been looking forward to reading Dangerous Secrets ever since I read Dangerous Works, and I was not disappointed. In the last week, I’ve fallen a little in love with Jamie, with his secret sorrow, his roguish twinkle, and the bone-deep sense of honour that would not let him forgive himself for the past but also would not let him abandon a woman in trouble.
And Nora, the woman he reluctantly came to adore: as a person who want strong determined heroines, I could not wish for a better one.
Caroline Warfield tells an exciting tale. With the well-being and even the safety of a little child at stake, our hero and heroine need to begin a deception that quickly becomes a reality. But Jamie is hiding more secrets than Nora knows, and those who seem friends may truly be enemies.
Compelling characterisations in secondary characters as well as protagonists, descriptions so real I could smell the paved courtyards in the hot sun, and one realistic crisis after another. Thank you, Caroline, for a great read. I’m looking forward to seeing what you’ve done with the third in the trilogy.
Note: Caroline Warfield and I belong to the same writers’ co-operative, The Bluestocking Belles. This review is, however, my honest and unvarnished opinion.