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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tomorrow Belongs to Us by Lynda Dunwell

Tomorrow Belongs to Us by Lynda Dunwell
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (160 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Azalea

Innocently embroiled in naval espionage Lucy Mainwaring sails on board RMS Titanic - will she and the man she loves survive?

Drawn into espionage by navy officer Edwin Hardie, Lucy Mainwaring is advised by her diplomat uncle, who is Hardie’s superior, to accept Edwin’s marriage proposal. Believing the offer, although honourable, is made without true affection, she refuses him but agrees to get to know him better during an Atlantic voyage to a peace conference in America. They embark on RMS Titanic but who will reach New York?

Being penniless and wanting to marry for love seem mutually exclusive, but for Lucy Mainwaring, the daughter of a country clergyman, her dreams might just come true.

Lucy is invited to her wealthy aunt’s and uncle’s London home for a season. Sir Leyster and Lady Grant are determined to see her make a good match, even though she has no money. While there she meets handsome Lt. Commander Edwin Hardie, who is attached to Sir Leyster at the Admiralty. It’s instant attraction for Lucy, but she's convinced a man like Edwin couldn't possibly be interested in the Grants’ poor relation.

One night Lucy and Hardie overhear a conversation concerning State secrets not meant for their ears, and to protect Lucy, Hardie pulls her into a lovers’ embrace. Soon, word is out that she's been compromised. Hardie, being a gentleman, asks her to marry him, but Lucy can only marry a man who truly loves her, and refuses. Cousin Cecilly, however, accepts the proposal of Frank Johnson, a wealthy American, and the family prepares to embark on a voyage to New York. The staterooms on board the White Star Line RMS Titanic have been purchased by Cecily’s fiancĂ© and serve a dual purpose: it gives the Grants an opportunity to meet Frank’s parents and offers protection to Lucy and Hardie, both of whom Sir Leyster feels may be in danger.

At the last moment, Frank learns his father is ill and he’s forced to catch an earlier liner back to New York. Another American, William Marshall appears to be the beneficiary of Johnson’s ticket. As the voyage progresses, Hardie seems to want Lucy’s company, but he’s rather close-mouthed and she wonders if the companionship is out of a sense of duty to Leyster or because he cares for her. Also, the American, Marshall, takes an interest in Lucy who likes him as a friend, despite warnings from Hardie that the man is a philanderer and not to be trusted.

Kudos to Ms. Dunwell for a fairly accurate portrayal of passenger life aboard an ocean liner. Her plot was plausible enough for this reviewer to suspend her disbelief and lose herself in the story. Cousin Cecily was a bit of a twit, albeit a kind-hearted one. Lucy was strong and practical, and Hardie was suitably gallant, though a little too close-mouthed about his true feelings.

There seemed to be the right amount of introspection, though occasionally in the beginning there was a bit too much “tell” and not enough “show”, I caught only a few errors. Ms. Dunwell did her homework. The scenes aboard the Titanic seemed realistic and immensely readable.

All in all, a nicely paced, enjoyable story.