Set in New Orleans and environs beginning in 1799, this is the story of 16-year-old Leonie Saint-Andre, whose only living parent is a gambling grandfather who has impoverished their family’s plantation. Knowing he does not have long to live, her grandfather decides to take care of Leonie’s future by finding her a wealthy husband. Unfortunately, the man he picks, Morgan Slade, is a bitter man whose first wife married him for his money and then left him for another. And what Leonie’s grandfather does not know is that Morgan has a look alike cousin who, unbeknownst to Morgan, has assumed his identity in order to wed Leonie to steal her dowry.
|Original Cover (I like it!)|
Busbee has done her research and the history of Louisiana in the late 18th century is vividly portrayed. It was a time of plantations and the French creole families; and it was a time of dramatic change. Originally claimed by Spain, Louisiana was also claimed by France, and in 1803 most of it was acquired by America. The plot has many twists and turns and while the reader knows what is going on, the characters don’t. Lots of sexual tension and angst as Leonie is deceived yet rises as a courageous heroine to triumph in the end. I recommend it.