I came into this book excited about the premise. Elijah is a black soldier in the British army of 1813. Rose was the wife of one of his fellow soldiers. But her husband died fighting over a ruby necklace that he found while looting. Before he took his last breath, he gave the jewels to Elijah, making him promise to get the jewels to his wife.
Elijah keeps his word, bringing the necklace to Rose. But between her beauty and the worth of the rubies, she will need protection from the other soldiers. She has always had high regard for Elijah, so she asks him to marry her. Elijah has always been in love with the English beauty and he can’t tell her no. But he can’t believe that she will ever want him as a husband in truth. So he resigns himself to serving as more of a bodyguard until he can get her back to England.
I don’t really seek out interracial romance. The race of the characters doesn’t really matter much to me. What attracted me to the story was the idea that Elijah loved Rose, but never believed she could love him back. And he was willing to be there for her anyway. I love it when the hero puts his heroine up on an unreachable pedestal. Indeed, that does happen here, but the dynamic only exists for a short time. Part of the reason is –doubtless– because the story, itself, is so short. Maybe a quarter of it is set before the introduction of the relationship and another quarter is in the Epilogue… leaving us with maybe 40 pages of the romance.
The story delivered for the most part, but it felt kind of in fast forward. They were talking love in a matter of days. (*sigh*) I guess, I would have preferred more development and focus on the relationship. A pleasant read, but when it was over, I wasn’t entirely satisfied.
Rating: B-*ARC Provided by Carina Press via NetGalley