by Kris Tualla
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Mystery
Like most romantic heroes, Brander Hansen (aka: Lord Olaf Olsen) is the strong silent type. Unlike most protagonists, however, he’s silent for a reason; he is completely deaf and purposefully mute. Cheated out of his inheritance at 23, Brander leaves home with his best friend-cousin turned personal valet, changes his name and uses his natural intelligence and powers of reasoning to become a “Discreet Gentleman of Discovery”—a Sherlock Holmes type of fellow.
Baroness Regin Kildahl finds herself in need of assistance from just such a man. Her husband of seven years has gambled away her money, her possessions and her pride. Her very home and ancestral lands are in danger of being stripped from her by her husband’s debtors. She turns to Lord Olsen (Brander) for help. When her husband is murdered Regin has very little choice but to sell herself, her title and her homes to any man who is willing to pay the creditors, to save her home and the people she is responsible for, her tenants and servants.
Brander, in the guise of Lord Olsen is hired by the man who accepted Regin’s offer of marriage to escort her across Norway to be wed. What Regin doesn’t realize is, that man—Jarl Hansen—is Brander’s younger brother!
In some ways, this book is very much like all of its brethren in this genre. The heroine gets in trouble, the hero gets her out of it, they fall in love but for one reason or another can’t be together…then it all cycles again… HOWEVER, at the very same time, this book is different in that its hero is different than any other hero I’ve ever read about. He’s deaf and does not speak. At first, I thought…wow…that’s odd–different. But, it wasn’t long before I fell in love with Brander myself…and Regin too for that matter.
All the characters are believable and very well written. The story is about more than just a romance—there is a murder mystery afoot as well. That keeps the book from dragging or becoming one dimensional. Every facet of this story sucked me in and held me tight from the beginning to the end.
SPOILER ALET (look away if you must)!! The end of this story becomes the beginning of the next. THANK GOODNESS!
As I neared the end of the book, with every page I turned, I found myself chanting, “no, no, no, No, NO”. I couldn’t stand the thought the book was over. I wanted it to continue. I wanted to know if they lived their happily-ever-after. I wanted to know…EVERYTHING! I love these characters! I cannot wait to read the next one in this series: A DISCREET GENTLEMAN OF MATRIMONY.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance, period pieces and/or murder!