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Isabel Mere's skill with words and the turn of a phrase makes ALMOST GUILTY a joy to read. Her characters reach out and pull the reader into the trials, tribulations, simple pleasures, and sensual joy that they enjoy.
Jacie, a single-minded woman who is determined to one day be a doctor, works toward realizing her goal in life despite The Tragedy that forced her to flee her home and go to London. Alone, with mean people seeking to do her harm, she takes an assumed name. Trying to be invisible, she works, studies, lives frugally, and searches for the truth about her brother's death and the events leading up to it.
Love tiptoes in amid a wealth of suspicions and intriguing plots that are afoot to implicate her in murder.
Gabriel, an independently wealthy third son of an Earl, suspects Jacie of being involved in the murder of two of his friends. At first, he sought her company to ferret out information but soon found himself seeking her company because he couldn't get her off his mind or out of his heart.
Ms. Mere's unravels the tangled web of murder, smuggling, kidnapping, hatred and faithless friends, while weaving a web of caring, sensual love that leaves a special joy and hope in the reader's heart.
At times, I felt the story had too many secondary characters but they didn't keep me from turning the pages to see how Gabriel and Jacie bridged the gap between their two very different worlds and how they came to live happy ever after despite tremendous odds. And, of course, that special love scene near the end, so good!
Review by Camellia, LongandShortReviews
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An adventurous historical romance, ALMOST GUILTY is frequently filled with mystery and is at times poignant yet always enthralling. The 1820's come alive in the London locale of this story created by Isabel Mere, where the colorful descriptions of the characters and their daily lives are portrayed with vivid clarity. When unforeseen events occur and action must be taken, the storyline grabs readers with not only the unknown but also the genuine reactions of the unforgettable hero and heroine.
With distinctive characters and carefully crafted settings, Isabel Mere skillfully pulls readers into her heartfelt romance. There is never a time when the responses of the characters seem unconvincing, as this talented author lets each of them react with valid thoughts and deeds. Though there is considerable sharp wit in many of the conversations between Gabriel and Jacie, it is the touching inner thoughts behind their retorts which really make them even more true to life. I found myself connecting with this strong-willed couple early in the story, and the bond only grew with each new scene. Their determined natures are depicted with realism, and it is a delight to see them come to terms with many of the differences in their station. When illustrating the intimacy between Gabriel and Jacie, this path of discovery is beautifully described with tender passion and lively enthusiasm. The reader will experience this time period in English history with much depth, as Ms. Mere imaginatively shows the circumstances and environment facing those who lived then. Much has changed since the early nineteenth century, but the emotional issues compounding the lives of people during this time are shown to be just as compelling and often heartbreaking as they are today.Read more ›
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ISABEL MERE, pen name for POLLY MCCRILLIS, is the author of historical romances. She grew up in an air force family, earned some college degrees and then spent years keeping up with manic work schedules before moving to "cow-growing" country in Missouri's SW Ozarks. No street lights, no traffic jams - nary a stoplight! - equals plenty of solitude and silence to write her historical romances, and contemporary romances under her given name. If she's not writing or mowing or taking care of dogs, a chunky kitty and loquacious parakeet she's at her secondhand bookshop, Bookmarks, LLC.