Kate Noble’s The Summer of You is an immediate sequel to Revealed, quite literally picking up pretty much right where the previous book left off. And, as is often the way with consecutive romance novels from the same author, they involve a connected cast of characters. In this case, the heroine is Lady Jane, the rival of Philippa Benning from Revealed; her love interest is Byrne, the brother of Marcus Worth.
Jane’s been called to the country to contribute to the care of her ailing father, who’s started showing alarming signs of what modern readers will of course recognize as Alzheimer’s. Her brother Jason is no help, as he’d just as soon lose himself in his youthful pursuits of drinking and carousing with his friends. This leaves only one retreat for Jane: the company of the irascible Byrne, who unbeknowst to her has already settled in the area to convalesce from a bullet wound to his leg and the laudanum addiction he’d developed as a result. And Byrne, too, has another problem: everybody in the town thinks he’s the highwaywman who’s been waylaying victims in the area for the last year.
The Summer of You isn’t as action-driven a plot as Revealed, and since we’re not in the heart of the ton in this story, we don’t get the barbed repartee that made up a lot of the fun of the previous book. What we do get here though is some nice character development, especially as Jason has to catch up in maturity to his sister, and both of them have to wrestle with the fact that the man they’d known as their father the Duke is pretty much gone. Meanwhile, Byrne’s overcoming his own issues as he and Jane fall for one another and team up to unmask the highwayman is well done too.
Overall, a nice read and a bit more substantial than many examples of the genre. I’ll cheerfully return for more of Noble’s work. Four stars.