A Groom Who Can't Remember. A Bride Who Wants Desperately To Forget. Enid MacLean is finally living a peaceful life when she receivesword that an explosion has injured the husband she hoped she'd neverhave to see again. Reluctantly, she agrees to do her duty but,except for his distinctive green eyes, the man she nursesback to health is not the man she remembers. And he remembers nothing. From the depths of his amnesia, he reaches out for the woman he believes is his wife, tempting her with ardent words and a reckless passion she finds herself unable to resist. And while Enid finds herself losing her heart to this achingly familiar stranger, she cannot help but wonder how her husband has become such a dangerous, seductive man...and what secrets he carries locked away in his lost memories. Last time marriage cost her her happiness. This time love could cost her more.
Fraught with overwrought characters and contrived plot twists, the fifth entry in Dodd's early Victorian-era Governess Bride series picks up where the previous novel, In My Wildest Dreams, left off. Unlike the other members of the Distinguished Academy of Governesses, Enid MacLean is neither single nor a governess. She's a strong-minded nurse who was abandoned nine years ago by her ne'er-do-well husband, Stephen, after only three months of marriage. Now her delinquent husband is back, badly wounded by an explosion in the Crimea and in need of her healing touch. Enid reluctantly returns to find him scarred, suffering from amnesia and in peril from a Russian spy. Unfazed by Stephen's condition, Enid promptly regales him with stories of his past sins, never realizing that the man who both angers and entices her may not be her husband. The novel jumps abruptly from one angst-ridden confrontation to another, rushing toward a staged, sensational conclusion that holds more sparks than substance. Although the romantic tension between Dodd's hero and heroine will pull readers onward inexorably, the espionage subplot lends little credibility or depth to this trite tale. (Mar. 5) Forecast: Dodd's Governess Bride series has a devout following, but this weak entry may leave readers wondering if the author has lost her edge. Although negative word-of-mouth may deter some fans from picking up Dodd's latest, those who do will be placated by the inclusion of the hero and heroine from her previous book. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 28, 2002
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Excerpt from Lost in Your Arms by Christina Dodd
"Please, Mrs. MacLean, won't ye tell us about yer wedding?"
Her mouth full of cake, Enid stared around at the circle of feminine faces in Lady Halifax's parlor, all bright with happiness, and at the blond, round-cheeked girl in whose honor they were gathered. The girl who had asked the question. The girl who, in less than a fortnight, would become the blushing bride to Lady Halifax's underbutler. Swallowing, Enid took a breath. "My wedding? Oh, you don't want to know about my wedding."
An eager chorus answered her, a chorus from Lady Halifax's upstairs maids, her downstairs maids, and her scullery maids, all girls with their heads stuffed with puff pastry dreams of love.
Enid, at the ripe old age of twenty-six, was at least five years everyone's senior in age and five hundred years their senior in cynicism.
"Was yer wedding as wonderful as mine is going t' be?" Kay clasped her hands at her bosom. The girl was resplendent with flowers and ribbons in her hair, surrounded by gifts given by her friends, and glowing with the light of love.
So Enid tried desperately to divert the conversation. "Nothing could be as wonderful as your wedding is going to be. That lace Lady Halifax asked me to bring as your wedding gift will make a lovely collar for your wedding gown."
"Aye, it will." Kay patted the fancy, machine-sewn lace Enid had delivered. "Lady Halifax is a grand mistress, an' ye must convey me thanks t'er. Mrs. MacLean, did ye have lace on yer gown?"
The problem, as Enid saw it, was that she was a woman of mystery.
Oh, not really. For three years she had lived in the London town house as Lady Halifax's nurse-companion. At first she had done little more than pass Lady Halifax her cane and make sure she had a clean handkerchief. But as time had gone on and the wasting disease had weakened Lady Halifax, Enid had become her mouth and ears in the household. She had reported the household activities to Lady Halifax and given Lady Halifax's instructions to the servants. But never, ever, had she confided her past to anyone.