The cover is even exotic! Love it already. It’s 1913, Maddie Bright has left her home in England after attending school, to join her mother and father in India where her father is stationed. It’s sultry and miserably hot and she is not settling in well. Until New Year’s Eve when she meets a handsome young military officer across the crowded room. Luke Devereaux is that handsome man. He is immediately as smitten as she is. Their love affair is a sweltering ordeal that quickly heads for marriage. But when Luke is called on to serve in the war right after their vows are taken, this story quickly becomes a heart-pounding page-turner.
This novel is so much more than just a romance. Ashcroft has done a bang-up job describing the sensory delights of Bombay. Colonial India. She’s so brought it to life. When Luke leaves a travel guide with Maddie she finally begins poking her nose into the parts of the city that tourists normally shy away from. She becomes enchanted and shares her destinations with us. I felt such a sense of place. You can almost close your eyes and smell the spices in the market.
The story actually begins with a scene where a man does not know who he is. You quickly find that Luke is that person and he has suffered so during the war. Back and forth in time goes the story giving us a sense of foreboding.
The love story is very strong. I was reminded of several movies. I’ll let you make that decision.
The food, the characters, the city, and the fierceness of Maddie. I will never forget. Loved the story.