The Smuggler's Escape Book Cover The Smuggler's Escape
Barbara Monajem
Historical Regency Romance
Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
July 24, 2019

After escaping the guillotine in her native France, aristocrat Noelle de Vallon takes refuge with her aunt in Sussex. Feisty, resourceful, and determined to make her own way, she takes over the local smuggling operations, doubling their profits. But when their plans are betrayed, a man from her past steps out of the shadows to save her. Too bad he's the last man on earth she ever wanted to see again.

Years ago, Richard, Lord Boltwood's, plan to marry Noelle was foiled when his ruthless father shipped him to the Continent to work in espionage. But with the old man at death's door, Richard returns to England with one final mission: to catch a spy. And Noelle is the prime suspect.

Noelle is determined to finish the smuggling run and escape back to France. She needs Richard's help to do it, but how can she ever trust the man who abandoned her? And how can Richard catch the real culprit while protecting the woman who stole his heart and won't forgive him for breaking hers?

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Noelle de Vallon escaped France after her father was guillotined and she was sent to live with an aunt in England. It is 1794 a time when France was dealing with the revolution and where she was destined to end up like her father. Her mother wasted away and now she has no one.

Noelle took to smuggling and when she is called to the death bed of Lord Boltwood he advised her that the Home Office would be arresting her soon for being a spy. He advised her to run but she needed to finish a smuggling job to get more money.

She thought she had more time than she did because while getting ready to hide smuggled brandy the excisemen came knocking. With the excisemen at the door she had to warn the men who were coming, her only choice was to light a lamp and send a signal but she was caught red handed. Her first excuse was that she was out with her net to catch moths but that excuse was lame and unbelievable, her second excuse was that she was out there to meet a man but there was no man and even though she made a big fuss over him being late that excuse fell flat as well.

Then a man she once loved and now hates came to her rescue, Richard Boltwood backed up her story and even went so far as a kiss. Since meeting a man at night alone would be scandalous he told everyone that they were engaged but he was the last man in the world she would ever consider marrying. Almost two and a half years ago after Richard took her virginity and proposed marriage he disappeared without a word and when he left money in an account for her she was convinced he thought of her as a whore.

Richard loved Noelle and never stopped loving her but his father refused to allow him to marry her and drugged him and snuck him away on his yacht. Richard was forced into espionage and working for the government he did what was expected of him. His father made it very clear that contacting Noelle would lead to her death and he didn’t doubt his father at all since it would not be the first time he killed something that Richard loved.

To protect Noelle Richard undertakes smuggling along with her trying to change her mind about marrying him without revealing what he was actually doing. There was a spy and it was up to Richard to find him or her and prove that Noelle was innocent.

Noelle was a woman who didn’t hesitate to take risks and who has to fight with herself not to give into her feelings for Richard. She is forced to put on a front for all to see till she could get enough money to run away it was pretend to be engaged to Richard or the possibility of prison, and she finally accepted the fact that a fake engagement beat jail.

Another wonderful romance filled with betrayal, secrets, lies and a time when women had no rights and where only the Aristocrats mattered. What happens between Noelle and Richard is something I will not share in this review but I highly recommend reading this book and finding out for yourself.