“Intrigue, romance, adventure—Chasing the Heiress has it all. I’m a Rachel Miles fan!”—Cathy Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author
"Her characters come alive with warmth and purpose." Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author
Heiress On The Run
Lady Arabella Lucia Fairborne has no need of a husband. She has a fine inheritance for the taking, a perfectly capable mind, and a resolve as tough as nails. But what she doesn't have is the freedom to defy her cousin's willand his will is to see her married immediately to the husband of his choosing. So is it any wonder that she dresses herself as a scullery maid and bolts into the night?
Colin Somerville's current mission for the home office is going poorly. Who would have expected otherwise for a rakish spy tasked with transporting a baby to the care of the royal palace. But when, injured and out of ideas, Colin stumbles upon a beautiful maid who knows her way around a sickroom, it seems salvation has arrived. Until he realizes that though Lucy may be able to help him survive his expedition, he may not escape this ordeal with his heart intact…
About the Author
Rachael Miles has always loved a good romance, especially one with a bit of suspense and preferably a ghost. She is also a professor of book history and nineteenth-century literature whose students frequently find themselves reading the novels of Ann Radcliffe and other gothic tales. Rachael lives in her home state of Texas with her indulgent husband, three rescued dogs, and an ancient cat.
Read an Excerpt
Chasing The Heiress
By Rachael Miles
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Rachael Miles
All rights reserved.
"Do you have her?" Archibald Pettegrew, Lord Marner, already knew what the answer would be, and he ground his pen into the desk pad before him, crushing its tip.
Ox looked at the ground, hat in hands, his hulking frame braced against his employer's displeasure. He shook his head. "We've watched all the stages to London for three weeks. We thought we had her in Shrewsbury, even snuck into a garden party to snatch her, but it weren't your lady."
"She's not my lady, you fool." Marner crumpled the letter he had been writing. "But she must be found."
"She can't have gone far — not on foot. She has no money, no friends. None of the farmers on their way to market remember seeing her, and none gave her a ride. We asked at all the tollbooths for a dozen miles." Ox's tone was more frustrated than conciliatory. "If she's between here and Shrewsbury, she can't stay lost forever."
"That's what you said two weeks ago and again last week." Marner rose from his chair. Placing his hands firmly on the desk, he leaned forward over the broad expanse of wood. "What if you were wrong? What if she didn't head to Shrewsbury? What if she had traveled to one of the other market towns and from there to London?"
Ox ran a broad hand across his jaw. "On this side of the canal ... nearest market town is eight miles northwest across rough country — hills, forest to the south, then there's the river, and even if she could have gotten that far, she didn't cross at the Montford bridge. No, we have her pinned. And soon she'll bolt."
Marner wasn't appeased. "What if she crossed the canal? A child could swim it at most places."
Ox swallowed. "Well, then, she would have been noticed, a sodden woman walking alone in a fancy dress."
"Widen your search. Check every inn on every road from Ellesmere to Bridgenorth." Marner shoved the chair back from the desk and walked to stand in front of Ox. He pointed his finger in sharp angry motions in the bigger man's face. "I need her. Here. Now. Not in a week. Now." His finger punctuated each word.
Ox recoiled slightly, then bristled and stood to his full height.
"'T'ain't my fault. If you'd given me my way," Ox spit his words, "she'd be here. In the churchyard, next to your aunt. Dead and buried with a nice tombstone to mark her grave. Simple, clean. A fall from a horse, a broken wheel on a carriage, a swim in the river turned drowning. No one would have said nay. You'd have your precious estate, and I'd be paid."
Marner turned away, pulling his rage under control. He knew better than to push Ox too far. "She ruined everything."
"I told you to keep her away from the old lady." Ox frowned. "She's a sly one. You knew that the moment she came here."
"I can still set it right. Then it won't matter how she dies." Marner's anger turned cold, hard. "But first you need to find her."CHAPTER 2
Colin Somerville woke, heart pounding, the heavy thud of cannon fire fading with his nightmare. Heavy brocaded curtains hung over the carriage windows to his left. Feeling suffocated, he shoved the curtains apart and breathed in gulps of crisp September air. Beyond the window, the sun fell gently on the green rolling hills of Shropshire. In the near distance, open pastures with grazing sheep gave way to enclosed land, where turnips were growing. He fell back against the seat. He was in England, not Belgium. It was only a dream.
Judging from the position of the sun, they should reach Shrewsbury by dusk. He rubbed his face with his hands, pressing his fingertips into the tight muscles at his forehead and temples. To calm his heart, he used an old trick his brother Benjamin had taught him. He focused on naming the various scents in the air — wool, newly harvested wheat, dirt loosened to pull the turnips, and water. Likely the Severn.
His companion, Marietta, grew restless in her sleep. He stilled. She curled her hand under her chin and nestled farther into the down-filled pallet tucked into the well between the two carriage seats. Colin had bought her the thick pallet that morning at Wrexham. The gift had cost him more than he could easily afford, but her widening smile had been worth the cost. Since then, she'd spent the day sleeping, her back to one seat riser, her swollen belly pressed against the other.
A line of bright sunlight from beneath the window curtains shone above Marietta's head like a nimbus. But unlike the Madonnas he had seen at Rome or Venice, whose faces were lit with an internal glow, Marietta — even in rest — looked weary. The dark hollows in her cheeks, the deep circles under her eyes, the bluish undertone to her lips, all reminded him of the El Grecos he'd seen at Toledo. He thought of his sister Judith's confinements — she had never looked so ill, not with any of her four boys. If Harrison Walgrave had sent him to bury another woman ... He pushed away thoughts of Marietta dying, reminding himself instead of how Walgrave had presented the mission.
"It's straightforward." Walgrave had held out the address of a cottage in Holywell and a miniature portrait. "Escort the widow of one of the Prince Regent's Habsburg cousins from the western coast of Flintshire to London." The portrait revealed a pixie face with auburn hair and emerald eyes. A sweet face. An innocent face. His gut had twisted. Leaving the items in Walgrave's hand, Colin had turned to the door.
"Find someone else. I'm not your good soldier anymore."
"It's not that easy. I offered Barclay and Sundern. But Prinny wants you. Apparently your work at ..."
Colin had paused, his hand on the doorknob, waiting for the word "Brussels." The churning in his stomach turned into a wave of nausea.
"... Edinburgh has not gone unnoticed. The prince regent considers this a personal favor." Walgrave had tossed the miniature at him, and Colin had caught it automatically. "And be charming. Prinny specifically mentioned your wit and charm. I didn't tell him you've become a scowling misanthrope."
Colin resisted the sudden urge to throw the miniature at Walgrave's head and storm away. "Perhaps you should have. I'd rather be sent into the worst hell in London where I can scowl as I please than play nursemaid to a spoiled Habsburg princess."
Walgrave had raised one shoulder in a half-shrug. "Since I could not dissuade Prinny, I at least made it worth your while." He held out an official document on heavy parchment.
Colin read the contents, then folded it, all without comment. Walgrave waited silently until Colin held out his hand for the address. "After this, I'm finished. No more missions. No more death. No more lies." Walgrave had nodded his acceptance.
It had taken Colin two days to travel to Holywell, two days in which he had steeled himself to smile and be charming. But ultimately the princess had charmed him. Heiress to a mining magnate, Marietta had caught the eye of a visiting (and impoverished) member of the Habsburg royal family. Though she had been impeccably trained at the best finishing school in Paris, when Colin arrived, he found her teaching the housekeeper's parrot to curse in five European languages. "Don't call me Princess," she whispered, casting a grim eye to the housekeeper, hovering at the edge of the terrace. "Or she will raise my rate."
It had taken three more days to separate Marietta's possessions into two groups: those which the carriage could carry and those which would have to be shipped from Liverpool around the coast to London. Most difficult had been determining exactly which clothes she could (and could not) do without for her first week at court. Then, just when he had thought that they might set out, she had insisted that his coachman, Fletcher, accompany her trunks across the inlet to ensure they were well stowed for their London journey. All told, he had been gone from London for more than a week before he bundled Marietta, her paints, her embroidery, her knitting, her books, and a handful of magazines into the carriage and set off on their trip. But somehow he had not minded. Marietta was sweet, resilient, and companionable, anticipating the birth of her child with real joy.
He shifted in his seat, but his legs — outstretched on the backward-facing seat to give Marietta more room — felt like leaden weights, long past numb from a lack of circulation. He moved one foot down into the small space remaining between Marietta's feet and the carriage door. The blood began to move agonizingly into one set of toes.
He unfolded his map and began to recalculate their trip. Holywell to London was two hundred and eight miles. Even a mail coach, traveling at seven miles an hour, could travel the distance in thirty-two hours, and his brother's third-best carriage was able to clip along at ten. But the princess needed substantive food, frequent stops, a real bed at night, and opportunities to shop at any tempting village store they passed. Their first day, they traveled only to Wrexham. Twenty-six miles in six hours. Their second day would measure little more. He had already promised she could spend the night — and morning — in Shrewsbury. Using his forefinger as a measure, he counted off the miles from Shrewsbury to London. The return would take a sennight, if he were lucky.
Marietta moaned and tried to shift her weight. Why — he berated himself for the fiftieth time — hadn't he borrowed a better carriage? One with ample seats, thick comfortable bolsters, and better springs. If he were to play escort to a pregnant princess, why hadn't the Home Office informed him? Had they intentionally withheld the information? Or had they not known?
He forced his attention back to the map. If Marietta gave birth on the road with only him and Fletcher for midwives, he would kill someone in the Home Office. He wasn't yet sure who. Perhaps the lot of them, but he would begin by strangling Harrison Walgrave.
The carriage began to slow, the springs creaking into a new rhythm. Colin waited for Fletcher to offer the usual signals: two slow taps for an inn, a fast double-tap for a crossroads, and a heavy heel-kick for danger. But no taps, kicks, yells, or pistol shots alarmed him, except perhaps the nagging absence of any warnings.
Colin tapped on the roof and waited. No response. His senses grew more alert, listening, but he heard nothing beyond the normal sounds of a country road.
Even so, he shifted his second foot — still numb — from the opposite seat to the floor and slid several inches toward the middle of the bench. There, Colin moved a cushion aside to reveal a built-in pistol cabinet that had been added by his brother, the Duke of Forster.
His movement wakened Marietta, and she began to speak, but he held up his finger before his lips, then touched his ear. Be quiet: I'm listening. Her green eyes, always expressive, widened, and she nodded understanding. She pulled the thick feather comforter up over her belly, as if to hide.
The door handle moved slightly as someone tried to open the door. Luckily Colin had bolted it from the inside. Their highwayman grew frustrated, pulling against the door handle several times.
Reacting viscerally, Colin wrenched the pistol cabinet door open. But before he could withdraw the pistols, the window glass shattered inward. Marietta recoiled and tried to push herself up as the curtains were torn away, wrenched outward. Colin moved to protect Marietta, trying to place himself between the princess and the broken window. But his feet found no solid purchase, just a river of down shifting beneath his weight. Losing his balance, he fell back hard onto the seat.
Two hands in long leather gloves, each holding a pistol, reached through the window frame into the carriage.
As in battle, everything slowed. Both pistols pointed at a spot in the middle of his chest. At this range, he had no hope of surviving. And he felt more relief than fear.
Colin held out his hands to show he was unarmed. He could see nothing of the highwayman. Only a dark duster and a mask.
The guns didn't fire.
One pistol shifted to the opposite seat. But Marietta wasn't there. Seeing her on the floor, the highwayman repositioned his sights.
Realizing in an instant this was no robbery, Colin flung himself between Marietta and the barrel. He heard the cock of the trigger, saw the flash of fire, and felt the hit of the ball in his side. Black powder burned his flesh.
Dark smoke filled the cabin, and he choked, coughing.
His ears rung from the boom of the gunshot, but he saw the flash of the second pistol firing along with a shower of sparks from the side and barrel of the gun. He felt Marietta's scream. He pulled himself up, half standing, one hand against the carriage roof to steady himself. His side stabbed with pain at each expansion of his lungs.
Marietta tried to rise behind him, choking as well. She pulled against the clothes on his back, but he brushed her hands away. When the smoke cleared, his body would stand between Marietta and their assailant. He would die. But after Belgium, he felt dead already — what would be the difference?
Marietta beat the backs of his legs. Small burning embers burned on Marietta's pallet. Some of the lit sparks from the pistols had fallen onto the down-filled bed. He assessed the dangers automatically. Once the embers ate past the woolen cover and fire caught the feathers, the danger would spread quickly.
Still on the floor, Marietta pushed herself backward toward the opposite door, kicking the smoldering bolsters and pallet away from her. With each kick, she further entangled his feet. He couldn't reach her, at least not easily. And he couldn't reach and load a gun without stepping from his defensive position in front of her. Thick smoke burned his eyes.
With neither sound nor sight to help him, he had to choose: the dangers of the fire, growing with each second, or those of the highwaymen who could be waiting outside. Tensing, he unbolted the door, pushed it open, and leapt out. His leg hitting wrong, he fell and rolled into the ditch beside the road. He raised himself cautiously. The highwaymen were gone, having attacked, then left. Not robbers then.
He pulled himself to standing. He should worry about Fletcher and the postboy, Bobby, but there was no time. Smoke from the feather- stuffed pallet billowed from the coach. He could see Marietta's legs, vigorously kicking the smoldering bed away from her. She was alive, but trapped against the locked door on the opposite side of the carriage.
Ignoring the pain below his ribs, he pulled hard on the pallet, dragging a portion through the coach door. Already, the smoldering feathers were breaking through the wool in patches of open flame. He heaved again, releasing all but a third from the coach. Flames began to dance across the pallet.
If the pallet broke apart before he could remove it, he'd have to sacrifice the carriage, and then he could offer little protection to Marietta. He pulled hard once more, and the pallet fell onto the green verge next to the road. Then, to protect neighboring crops and livestock, he dragged the pallet, flames licking at his hands, into the middle of the road, where it could burn without harm. Once carriage and countryside were out of danger, he hunched over, hands on his knees, and tried to breathe without expanding his lower rib cage.
After a few minutes to recover his breath, Colin looked up at the carriage. Fletcher remained at his post, his body slumped forward.
Colin climbed the side of the coach, gritting his teeth against the pain. Blood oozed through the hair at the back of the coachman's head. Pressing his fingers to the older man's neck, Colin felt the beat of the artery. Alive.
Listening and watching for trouble, Colin weighed his options.
They needed to move, to get off the open road. But for that, he needed Fletcher conscious. At least he wouldn't have to explain to Cook how her man had been killed on a quiet English road after surviving a dozen campaigns against Boney.
Still unable to hear, Colin retrieved a water flask from under the coachman's seat. Tenderly cradling the older man's head, Colin washed the blood away. The wound was a long gash, slantways from the back of Fletcher's ear toward the back of his head. He pressed his fingers against the gash. Long but not deep and worst at the curve of Fletcher's head where the weapon bit hardest through the skin.
Colin lifted Fletcher's chin. "Pistol shot. Can't hear." Colin picked up the fallen reins and held them out. "Can you drive?"
Fletcher took the reins in one hand. Then, raising his eyes to Colin's, Fletcher held out his other hand, palm down, as one does when indicating a person's height.
Excerpted from Chasing The Heiress by Rachael Miles. Copyright © 2016 Rachael Miles. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I came into this story after enjoying the first book, although this one is self-contained. The image of a Muses’ Salon, evokes for me great gatherings of the best and brightest in the city, with a few people who serve to simply stir the imagination and creativity of those with an artistic calling. That whole feel was missing in this story, in fact it was buried underneath a romantic suspense plotline as a woman runs from an unwanted marriage, only to find a suitable match after all. Arabella was a decent character, with no great failings in her development, but nothing that made her particularly stand out from legions of others. What was distinctive about her was the knowledge she gained in rudimentary nursing / caregiving skills. When the ‘marry or else’ proposition comes closer to fruition, she scrambles away disguising herself. Colin is in service to the Crown, with a mission that is quickly turning pear-shaped. Injured and with a baby to transport to the palace, he’s finding this odd maid has unusual skills for someone of her position, and he’s intrigued. The story started strong – although a bit different from what I expected, and then the lack of development of both characters, and a series of different moments involving carriages, hunting lodges, games and quiet moments reading derailed the pace, and it never recovered. Then the focus went to unraveling all the different mysterious elements to the detriment of the couple building, or even feeling closely tied to the initial premise. The characters devolved from solid sketches with some color to bland and unfocused: perhaps the confusion with multiple elements and twists just pulled everything out of joint. The romance concluded in a way that didn’t make sense from all of the elements leading to it – and Colin’s character was to blame for the lack of believability – he went from anti-connection to all in, and there wasn’t a great deal of progression to explain it. All in all, more focus and editing with an eye to continuity and maintenance of character growth and traits would have served this title well. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
2nd book in series was not only a very good read, but contained some interesting facts from that era. Highly recommend reading.
Interesting, well researched, with engaging protagonists and characters carried over from the first book in the series, Jiltinf the Duke. The business with the asylum was unique in my reading of the genre. I can't wait for them to catch Charters and for him to get what's coming to him!
I really enjoyed this story. We have Arabella who is posing as a maid at an inn when she Colin. She has some healing knowledge, so she uses it to help heal him. As she spends time with Colin, they start to fall for each other. But Colin doesn't know who Arabella really is, a lady. Lots of angst and excitement in book 2 of the Muses' Salon series. I can't wait for the next in the series, Tempting the Earl!
4.5 stars! Book two in Rachael Miles' The Muses' Salon series!! A must read! Can trust bring to the open secrets held too close to the heart? Each with their own reasons not to trust ever again, whether brought together by fate or fortune time soon will tell, that is, if they get to live through the ordeal at hand. Lucy, working as a scullery maid at a coaching inn, unbeknownst to those around her in her true form as Lady Arabella Lucia Fairborrne an heiress to a fortune that her reprobate cousin would do anything to get his hands on. Also the daughter of an officer raised on the battlefields Lucy is an accomplished nurse whose skills are soon to be tested as a carriage pulls in to the inn carrying victims of what appears a highwayman ambush. A woman shot and in the throes of labor along with gentleman also suffering from a gunshot hope to seek treatment and secret protection. Colin Somerville, a former officer in the Army, who had also been tasked with secret spy missions from the Home Office has seen his share of men under his command fall at the enemy's hand but one particular mission has left him irreparably damaged. To satisfy one last request of the Home Office, accepting this final and supposedly simple mission now finds him not only wounded, but potentially facing failure to bring the secret mission to a successful close. Reduced to be treated at the hands of the dark-haired siren before him he fears not only his assignment is in danger but himself as well.
Archibald Pettigrew wanted Arabella’s inheritance. He had already poisoned Arabella’s great aunt and then found Arabella and not him was to inherit from said aunt. So now Archibald had hired assassins to find Arabella and bring her back to him. He asked Ox if he had gotten Arabella and he said no but she could not have went far as she had no money or friends and she was on foot. Colin was a spy for the crown but he had a different mission to get a pregnant Marietta to London. Colin decided if she gave birth while on this trip he would kill someone in the home office beginning with strangling Harrison Walgrave. Colin’s brother is the Duke of Forster. Arabella/Lucy as she went by now had found work as a scullery maid at an inn which included lodging and felt like a good place to hide. Arabella had a letter from her great aunt Aurelia and she was to give it to an old love of her great aunt’s Sir Cecil Grandison and he would know what to do. The carriage was attacked but they got through it Colin had been shot as had Marietta but she also went into labor. However they did make it to the next inn.The inn keepers wife was a midwife so she and the other maid attended to Marietta and Lucy was left to take care of Colin. Colin found even though he was in pain he was attracted to Lucy. Lucy was also attracted to Colin but her job right now was to be his nurse. Colin’s brother the Duke comes to the inn to check on him and that is when Colin requests that Lucy travel with him as Colin wishes to help Lucy since she saved his life so he takes her with him to take the newborn to the palace. Marietta’s cousin was the Prince Regent but Marietta didn’t make it but her baby did. Lucy had lost her dad and fiance in the wars and she had followed her dad and that is where she learned to take care of injured men. I liked this story. I really liked the fact Arabella didn’t think it was beneath her to take care of wounded men or be a scullery maid. She has alot of inner strength and takes care of herself the best she can. I also liked that Colin wanted to take Arabella with him and wanted to help her. The plot was good as was the writing. This story has action, suspense, romance, assassins, inheritance, greedy people, and much more in it. I liked the ins and outs Arabella went through. I recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review
4.5 Stars! A woman on the run. A man on a mission. They need each other to survive the road to an uncertain future. First off, I loved this book so much I went and bought the first one because I craved more of the series. Lucy endeared herself to me from her first appearance. She was eager to dig in and get her hands dirty, whether caring for a wounded stranger or washing hundreds of dishes. Colin had to work to get into my heart, but he got there when he made me laugh and cry in the same chapter. I fell in love with Miles’ writing style and her obvious careful study of the period. The journey Lucy and Colin take is as dangerous as they come for the time period and Miles drew me into that world full of fear, passion, and possibility. By the time the last page arrived I was overjoyed to read such a beautiful and adventurous story, yet sad book three wasn’t out yet. So, of course I went and read book one in the series, Jilting the Duke, to get me through. I will be pre-ordering book three, Tempting the Earl, as soon as it becomes available for the release on October 25th, 2016. I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t stop reading once I opened the book. What a page-turner! A phenomenal high five stars for Chasing the Heiress – The Muses’ Salon, #2 by Rachael Miles. Ms. Miles weaves a tale of deep passion and sensuality riveted with mystery and intrigue at each turn of the page. This is the first book I’ve read from Ms. Miles and I must say, it won’t be my last! I immediately fell in love with our H and h, what a perfect combination and match they make. Their love is a slow buildup, however, their passion is ignited right from the start. Both are drawn to one another but how sweetly and deeply they fall in love throughout the course of the tale. Our H, Colin Somerville is shot when his carriage is stopped on the road, he is transporting Marietta and her unborn child for the Royal Family; whom he is a spy for. Both are greatly injured and he realizes this was not a robbery but an attempted murder. They are taken to an inn not far from the accident. Here he is tended to by the scullery maid who has a keen knowledge of medicine and caring for the sick. Lady Arabella Lucia Fairborne, is running from her family. Her cousin states in his will that she is to be married to a man of his choosing and Lady Fairborne wants nothing to do with marriage, most especially to whom her cousin would choose. Seeing no way out, she runs away and hides in a local inn, having taken employment as a scullery maid. Here she meets that dashingly beautiful yet very injured Colin and nurses him back to health. After his brother, the Duke comes to the inn and sees the state Colin is in, Colin requests that Lucy travel with him. She accepts his offer but on one condition, that he take her to her next destination. Will Colin keep to his promise and deliver Lucy, or will he want to claim him for himself? Will Lucy reveal her true identity and give into her growing desires for Colin and finally accept a husband? I highly recommend this story, it’s filled with so much love, passion and yes challenges await our H and h at every turn. What a ride the reader is taken on during this awesome tale! **I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review**
This is a story of resilience, redemption and hope. Ms. Miles had me rooting for her characters from the start. Colin and Lucy are each trying to fulfill missions, his to the crown and hers to her Aunt, and they decide to work together. Colin needs her for his health and Lucy needs his family connections and his determination. As they help each other they realize they are better together than apart. They each have secrets that they try to keep from the other. Eventually they share their secrets and that leads to issues that they need to overcome. There are other characters in the story that have secrets and those lead to attempts on both Colin and Lucy’s lives. Those same secrets threaten Lucy’s livelihood and her position in the ton. The evil characters are wonderfully nasty and one I am still trying to figure out- I am hoping he will be revealed in the next book in the series. This is the second in the Muses’ Salon series, it can be read as a standalone book, but the characters in Colin’s family are richer if you have read JILTING THE DUKE first. The Muses’ Salon is mentioned toward the end and left me hoping for more interaction regarding it. The idea is intriguing but so it has not been given any real substance. I am hoping the salon gets underway in the next book and they can show the ton the strong women they are and so some outrageous things. Lucy’s strength and determination to follow through on her mission is wonderful and I really loved her character. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Lucy is running away to complete a mission for her aunt. Colin is attacked while completing his own mission. They meet under dire circumstances and decide to help each other out. Taking pleasure as they fall for each other, yet they keep their pasts mostly secret. I enjoyed their journey together and coming to terms with their pasts. I recommend this book.
I really felt this was a 3.5 stars but didn't have that option. I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. 'Chasing the Heiress' by Rachael Miles is book two in the "The Muses' Salon" series. It is the story of Lady Arabella Lucia Fairborne and Colin Somerville. I have read the previous book 'Jilting the Duke' but I found this book to be a standalone book. Arabella 'Lucy' is on the run from her cousin/family who is out to hurt/kill her. Lucy pretends to be a made at a Inn where she meets Colin who has been injured. Lucy has knowledge of taking care of injuries from her time helping in the war. So Lucy is assigned to help Colin. Colin is very much attracted to Lucy and wants to also help her since she saved his life. So when he leaves to finish is mission he takes her with him. Lucy is happy to get way from her problems. Colin has agreed not to pressure her into finding out what is going on with her. Along the way though they can't fight their attraction...but will Lucy ever tell him what is going on?
An heiress hiding from her evil cousin, a younger son working for the government on a secret mission, a potential heir needing protection while being carried to safety, ambushes, injuries, nefarious villains, insane asylums and more are found alongside a romance that took some time to come to fruition. If you like a longer novel with an intricate plot and a bit of work required by the main characters before they achieve their happily ever after then this is a good historical romance for you. Lucy has skills most women of her era do not have and is willing to use them when needed. Colin has a sense of honor that he ascribes to that includes country, family and those he cares for. Lucy and Colin meet under extreme circumstances and then their budding relationship is tested throughout the book. Sometimes life is not easy and both the hero and heroine can attest to this. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington books for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Enjoyed the overall storyline and especially th