Title: Courting Trouble
Author: Jenny Schwartz
Publisher: Carina Press
Gennre: Historical/steampunk romance
Courting Trouble is a delightful romance with wonderful characters and plenty of action set in Swan River Colony, Australia, in 1895. Next time you’re thinking of watching a movie, pick this up instead. It’ll take a similar amount of time and it’s great entertainment. Unlike many romances, the story doesn’t revolve completely around the issue of two people getting together. This one has a plot which makes it suitable for a much wider readership. The romance is not cloying, and is chastely in tune with the era.
All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.
With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.
While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.
I met these characters in Wanted, One Scoundrel and was delighted to have them back again. Esme is a wonderful combination of sweet and tough, and Jed has all the qualities us woman love in a hero—handsome, strong, intelligent, protective, has a good sense of humour and, most important of all, is passionately in love with the heroine.
Once again, Jenny Schwartz shows that she can tell a good story, one with all the elements to keep you engaged. This is a book that I couldn’t fault. It even raises a question. Does committing to love means a loss of independence? And if so, for someone fiercely committed to independence is it worth the pay off? I think Esme got it right in the end.
5 stars. I recommend it to historical fiction readers who like a touch of romance.