By Linda Francis Lee
Setting: Africa/Boston, Massachuetts
Time Period: 1891
Publisher/Date: Ivy Books
Sensuality Rating: R
Male Lead: Matthew Hawthorne
Female Lead: Finnea "Finn" Winslet
Finnea Winslet, a 25 year old spinster, is on her way to see the mother who abandoned her and her father 19 years ago. On her journey she meets Matthew Hawthorne. Matthew is referred to as "The Wild White Man with the Scar", and is to escort Finn to the ship that will take her to Boston. A train derailment and a night spent in the jungle trying to keep Finn alive cuts short their trip. They think they will never see each other again.
Finn and Matthew are surprised when they meet again six months later in Boston. She is having a very difficult time fitting in to polite society and with her immediate family. Matthew agrees to give Finn lessons in the art of being a "lady" so she can please her mother and brother.
Matthew, who carries deep scars from the injuries he received in a fire and the wife who betrayed him, is obsessed with Finn and knows he shouldn't have her. Not only is scandal attached to him but the pain of injuries not healed correctly that are driving him slowly insane or so he thinks. He is also an artist who has had a creativity block since his accident. Finn seems to be the muse he needs and his six year old daughter the catalyst that brings them together.
The love between the two main characters had a very special feel. Matthew's journal entires gave a wonderful view of the male perspective. Grayson, Matthew's brother was an interesting secondary character and I look forward to reading his story.