What can a young man of fifteen do when he is told by his mother that the three cousins he is about to meet all want to marry him? Daniel Wilson Horden has arrived in London with his parents from their home in Northumberland on the very day of King Charles II’s triumphant return to his capital. Receiving his own personal wave from the king, Daniel longs only to serve him, but first he must keep at bay the threat of marriage. His two French cousins are adamant in their pursuit of him, but Daniel is intrigued by his English cousin, Eunice, whose Puritan father snatches her away from the reunion celebrations. Unaware that his gallant attempt to save her has endeared him to her, Daniel only just escapes the marriage trap which his younger French cousin lays for him and is sent off to study at Cambridge University. Once she returns to her father’s home, Eunice is condemned to a life of austerity. Heart-sick, she is assured by her grandmother that Daniel will come for her when he graduates from university. But, unaware of his cousin’s feelings for him, Daniel goes off to join the navy only to find that fighting in the king’s service is not as glorious as he had imagined. While the navy suffers at sea, London passes through plague and fire. Will Eunice survive the hardship? And will Daniel return to fulfil the promise in his eyes on that fateful day in London?
I’m assuming Prue Phillipson is a woman’s name, but I have to wonder if it’s really a pseudonym for a male author, because I’m pretty sure that the person who wrote this book hates women. The story itself is fine, for the most part. Daniel and Eunice are cousins, but meet for the first time around the age of 15. It’s not love at first sight, but each is a little interested in the other, and story follows them through the next few years of their lives as London is ravaged by the Plague, fire, and war.
At no point, did I consider putting the book down. It’s a good story. My problem is that every woman in the story is whiny, selfish, and manipulative. With the exception of Eunice, and she’s *this close* to crossing the line between humble and annoying. And the book is full of women: Daniel’s mother, both of his grandmothers, his maternal aunt, his two French cousins, and Eunice’s grandmother. Not one of them is likable or sympathetic. I wanted to throw them all into the Thames and be done with them.
It’s hard for me to give a historical novel anything but a glowing review, but the annoying characters were a distraction from a good story idea.
About the book
Title: Hearts Restored (Hordens of Horden Hall)
Author: Prue Phillipson
Publisher: Knox Publishing
Release date: March 8, 2012
Where I got the book: Free from the publisher in exchange for a honest review