Since Captain Charles “Chase” Eversea came home from the war, he has been living at the family home in Pennyroyal Green, surrounded by his parents and siblings. His time is spent arguing with his siblings, listening to his brother Colin rhapsodize about married life and farming, and nightly drinking to lessen pain from a leg wound sustained at Waterloo. Finally, he hears one too many cow stories and snaps. The next thing he knows, he is banished to London on a mission for the family. He is supposed to meet a cousin and assess his potential to become the next vicar of Pennyroyal Green.
Before he has time to find the cousin, an urchin appears with a cryptic message from an anonymous lady – she requests he meet her at the Montmorency Museum, near the Italian pastorals. ”Pastorals means cows and the like,” the note explains. Though Chase is suspicious, he decides to go to the museum and meet the mysterious lady.
When he arrives at the correct exhibit, Chase finds that the lady isn’t so mysterious after all. Mrs. Rosalind March is the widow of his former commander. During the war, Rosalind followed the drum so she knew the officers under her husband’s command. Toward the end of the war, she and Chase recognized the attraction between them but didn’t act on it – except for one spectacular kiss. Soon after, Chase was transferred to another unit.
Rosalind needs Chase’s help. One of her sisters has disappeared. After a very suspicious arrest for theft (since it wasn’t exactly clear whether anything was actually stolen), her sister disappeared from Newgate Prison while awaiting trial. No one will help Rosalind find out what happened and there is no record of her sister’s arrest anywhere.
Rosalind hopes Chase will be able to help her – ”The blonde one or the loud one,” Chase asks (it’s the blonde, btw) – because a good friend of his may know something about the disappearance. The friend works in the Home Office and was acquainted with her sister but proved elusive when Rosalind tried to see him. Chase is reluctant to get involved with Rosalind again but is ultimately unable to resist. Especially after he visits a brothel, finds himself uninterested in his chosen companion and sees a familiar painting in one of the rooms.
As Chase and Rosalind work together to find her missing sister, they get reacquainted. The connection they sensed during the war is still there and seems to be stronger. There are (vaguely) threatening notes, peculiar museum workers, and evasive bureaucrats. There are also some unsettlingly all-knowing puppets – that are especially unsettling to Chase who has had a fear of puppets since he was a child. Not that he would ever admit such a thing.
This book was so enjoyable! There was just enough suspense to keep moving Chase and Rosalind forward at a good pace and there were dashes of humor scattered throughout to keep the story from getting too gloomy or bogged down. The resolution of the disappearances could have taken a very dark turn but it didn’t, thank goodness. If you’re looking for a solid, satisfying read, give in to Since the Surrender.
A man of action . . .
Fearless. Loyal. Brilliant. Ruthless. Bold words are always used to describe English war hero Captain Chase Eversea. But another word unfortunately plays a role in every Eversea’s destiny: trouble. And trouble for Chase arrives in the form of a mysterious message summoning him to a London rendezvous…where he encounters the memory of his wickedest indiscretion in the flesh: Rosalind March—the only woman he could never forget.
A woman of passion . . .
Five years ago, the reckless, charming beauty once craved the formidable Captain’s attention. But now Rosalind is a coolly self-possessed woman, and desire is the last thing on her mind: her sister has mysteriously disappeared and she needs Chase’s help to find her. But as their search through London’s darkest corners re-ignites long-smoldering passion and memories of old battles, Chase and Rosalind are once again challenged to surrender: to the depths of a wicked desire, and to the possibility of love.
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