Somewhere in my pile of TBR and half-formulated reviews, this has languished. And when I was comparing to be read titles to what I have in my kindle – BINGO. Up it pops. Apologies to Gina Robertson and the good folks at both NetGalley and Aspendawn Books for my tardy response.
I am in love with historical romance: more so if there is a chance for me to learn something, or see a new portrayal of a time, or situation yet untouched upon. Gina Robertson brings us an Italian family saga, from mail-order bride to travels through New York, Chicago and on to the mining area in Idaho. With all of the expected difficulties inherent for a new immigrant unfamiliar with language and the country, a woman needing to travel with an escort, meeting a man she has committed to marry without knowing and the labor difficulties that were frequent in the day. So I was ready for a plot rich in emotion and empathy.
Angelina leaves her home and the poverty in Italy to travel to her new husband in Idaho. It was the custom of the time for women to not travel unescorted, so her brother-in-law is her chosen escort. Unfortunately, he is being denied entry into the US for a health condition, and Angelina is left without chaperone or real sense of how to get to Idaho without him. Fortunately, Tonio, a mine owner who lives not far from her intended is in the city to handle some personal business, and he agrees to act as chaperone and see her safely to her new life.
What we have here was an opportunity to play on the reader’s emotions and take the attraction between the two further: but both are honourable people and refuse to act on the building attraction, despite the almost palpable grip. The story wends through the scenery, detailing travel by rail, beautifully incorporating bits of history and emotion into the story as we travel westward. Tonio is a wonderful hero, stepping in to provide protection for Angelina, and even helping to unravel some of the mysteries of life in the United States to her. And she is safely delivered to her husband to be, but with an uprising at the mine between workers, mine owners and those who would seek to organize the miners into a unionized group, the story doesn’t lack for relevant insertions of issues of the day.
What I did find missing, however, were the answers to so many questions: whatever happened to Paolo, we don’t see how Tonio was familiar to her family, nor do we actually see any happy ever after ending. Parts got long-winded and meandered, and while some tightening of the detail and expository scene setting would have helped, the relationship tension between Tonio and Angelina was uneven, and often seemed to peak at the most inopportune times without warning. While I enjoyed the approach and the story, and the romantic elements were well-suited to the time and the characters, I still wanted a bit more to grab on to.
Title: The Escort
Author: Gina Robinson
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Aspendawn Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
ON THE WAY TO MEET HER HUSBAND
Young, beautiful Italian mail-order bride Angelina D'Alessandro is married by proxy to an older man she's never met-her only chance to escape the poverty of Italy for the hope of a new life in America. But to join him in the wilderness of Idaho in 1899 she's not allowed to travel alone. Now she's torn between duty and desire as she fights her growing attraction to her handsome and enigmatic escort.
SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH HER ESCORT
Mine owner and explosives expert Tonio Domani prefers to travel alone. In his line of work he can't afford distractions. Against his better judgment he's coerced into playing chaperone to a beautiful and tempting bride. The dangers he faces daily in his mine are real and the increasingly volatile powder keg of North Idaho's mining country makes his return there even more dangerous. But what scares him most is the rising passion he feels for Angelina and the danger of losing his heart to her.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.