Book Review of Just in Time (Blackcastle, Bk 1) (Zebra Historical Romance)

Just in Time (Blackcastle, Bk 1) (Zebra Historical Romance)
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2


This mystery based love story is set in 1795 Shropshire, near the Welsh border. It has a swashbuckling 50-ish parson, a widowed duchess, and her two children: a 14-year-old daughter, and the current Duke of Berinwick who is a disfigured, one-eyed curmudgeon.

Shortly before his untimely death, the old duke had given a living (which he had left vacant for 20 years) to the Reverend Mr. Richard Dempsey. Why? Because both were deeply interested in antiquities and each were fellows in the Royal Society. There was an artifact that the duke wanted Dempsey's help in discovering. Alas, before Dempsey took up his post, the old duke had been killed in a tragic coach accident. ...And so the story begins.

I have recently become a fan of Judith Lansdowne's work. Her stories are unusual, include a very nice dose of humor, and tend to have ensemble casts of characters. In this novel, the young duke's role is on a nearly equal footing with Dempsey and Berinwick's mother. Another very strong positive for me is that the central love story concerns a couple of middle-age. To add to the originality is the detail that the duchess is seven years older than the pastor. Finally I find it greatly refreshing to find a pastor cast in a heroic mold.