From Now Until Forever by Sherry Gloag is a contemporary romance that blends the old school and the new. The heroine is very much a product of the here-and-now, but the plot belongs to an earlier time. It almost works.
The story begins with Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet being shot at. At first, he thinks it’s just some trigger-happy idiots out in the woods, but then he comes to the reluctant conclusion that the insurgents trying to oust his father from the throne of their pocket-sized country on the Swiss border have finally found him. Liam has been travelling around the world for three years, trying to stay under the radar, and he’s finally been found. Since Liam is the third son, he’s been vainly hoping that his attempts to remain anonymous have been successful. It’s suddenly and painfully obvious to him that they haven’t.
Liam is in Scotland, and has been running a riding school for disabled children with his wife, Melanie, for the last six months. He thinks that Melanie doesn’t know he’s a prince. He doesn’t know that Melanie is the head of his security detail. She tailed him all over Europe. When he spotted her in a restaurant, the instant chemistry between them derailed both his normal “love ‘em and leave ‘em” nature and her duty to remain in the shadows.
When the bullets start flying and they have to escape their formerly secure home, the life they have built together falls apart. When the lies come crashing down, the walls come up between them. But can they find a way to be together, when everything they thought they had was built on deceit?
And will they live long enough to find out?
Escape Rating C+: I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the characters. Melanie and Liam are both interesting people. Mel raised herself up from nothing to be a security officer, and she’s good at her job. Even when she marries Liam, she never stops being his security chief, he just doesn’t know it. Liam isn’t a spoiled prince, he’s trying to be his own man, he just doesn’t go about it very well. But neither do a lot of people. I had difficulty with the whole “secret prince of the tiny country” thing. That plot device seemed both too formulaic and unrealistic to me. It tripped my “willing suspension of disbelief” alarm, and that alarm kept ringing. Those are very few of those teeny, tiny countries left these days. Also, Liam trying to live anonymously in 21st century Europe is just not possible anymore, unless one seriously wants to live off the grid. And Liam clearly likes his horses and his plesaures. He couldn’t have expected to be anonymous.
I liked the characters, but the plot was thin, or not contemporary. I’ve seen this plot used in space opera, and it definitely works in that context. But not here and now, not anymore. Or just not for this reviewer.