A Desperate Fortune
by Susanna Kearsley
This is another of Kearsley’s signature story-within-a-story tales. In the contemporary world, Sara Thomas is a computer programmer with a talent for deciphering puzzles. She also has high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome. When she needs a new job, her cousin recommends her to decipher an 18th c. diary written by a Scottish Jacobite living in France.
The 18th c. story involves clandestine Jacobite spying. Mary Dundas, a young Scottish woman born and reared in France, is asked to provide cover for a wanted English Jacobite. When she gets to Paris she meets the enigmatic MadPherson, who acts as bodyguard and protector of both the wanted man and Mary. At first she’s afraid of the large scary violent man of few words, but when she comes to see his good qualities and many thoughtful gestures, like carrying her dog, she eventually falls in love with him.
Mary’s story is revealed as Sara makes progress deciphering the diary. In the meantime, Sara is courted by a handsome and easy going Frenchman named Luc. Sara has always shied away from relationships because of her Asperger’s. She doesn’t expect to find someone who can understand and appreciate her, but Luc isn’t easily discouraged. And since this is a romantic novel, all ends happily for both couples.
Kearsley is one of my favorite authors, and I found this book to be very enjoyable, as did two of my friends (one a non-romance reader) in my readers group.
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