A Desperate Fortune
Booklist Reviews 2015 March #1
Following her tried-and-true format of interlacing a contemporary romance with a story set in the past, Kearsley (The Firebird, 2013) introduces a modern heroine not usually portrayed in romance fiction. Sara Thomas, brilliant and slightly autistic, has just lost another computer-programming job when her cousin suggests that she go to France and use her cryptography skills to work for a historian and decode the Jacobean diary of Mary Dundas. In 1732, Mary, the 21-year-old daughter of a Scottish wigmaker at the court-in-exile of the Stuart king, is finally sent for by her brother after living with an aunt and uncle for most of her life. But he promptly sends her away to help ensure the safe escape of a Jacobite supporter. As Mary's predicament leads her further into danger, she discovers the true nature of the scary Scot who is protecting their party. Kearsley makes sure that as Sara realizes that the diary is not telling the story her employer expects, she finds comfort in an unexpected relationship of her own. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2015 February #1
Sara Thomas has always seen the world differently but it wasn't until college that she received an official diagnosis of Asperger's. Even with coping tools, Sara struggled to work with others as a programmer. When given the chance to decipher secrets hidden in the diary of Mary Dundas, an average Jacobean woman of the 1730s, Sara agrees. What she uncovers both in the diary and in her own life is more than anyone could have expected. VERDICT Kearsley's (The Firebird) decision to offer a fully developed, romantic lead with the perspective of Asperger's is a welcome and refreshing idea. Incorporating rich historical details that feel as vivid as the present enables readers to quickly lose sense of time as the author weaves threads from two eras into one dramatic tapestry. A strong pick for readers of historical fiction, romance fans of any age looking for a light love story, or fans of Lauren Willig.—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH[Page 73]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 April #3
Kearsley (The Winter Sea) entwines the contemporary and historical narratives of two unmoored women looking for their place in the world. In the present day, jobless Sara Thomas travels to France to crack the cipher of an encrypted 18th-century diary. In 1732, the diary's author, young Mary Dundas, gets caught up in the intrigues of the continental community of Jacobite exiles. A plan gone awry sweeps her into murder and a flight south to Rome under the protection of the indefatigable, indestructible MacPhearson, eluding bounty hunters, wolves, spies, and betrayal. Sara's quieter tale mainly involves enjoying French hospitality, scenery, and the beautiful, attentive Luc Sabran. But Sara is inspired by Mary, who "found she liked this woman she had chosen now to be—this Mary Dundas, who had traveled and seen trouble and been changed by it." Mary's vividly described travels and threats add thrills to their shared tale. Fans of historical spy fiction will enjoy the dangers risked by Jacobite sympathizers, while Kearsley's gentle drama and accurate detail are sure to satisfy lovers of historical fiction and romance. (Apr.)[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC