Redeeming Lord Ryder by Maggie Robinson
I have to say that Redeeming Lord Ryder is one of the most unusual historical romances I've ever read - and believe me, I've read a lot of them. Part of the Cotswold Confidential series set around a small Victorian-era resort town in Gloucestershire specializing in restorative cures, both hero and heroine are undergoing treatment at the resort throughout the book.
Nicola was in a train accident so traumatic she lost the ability to speak. Her PTSD and repressed memories are beautifully dealt with in the book, as is her focussing her attentions inwards to discover what she truly wants from life, in the end discovering that even something so terrible can bring its own kind of blessings in the lessons we learn.
Jack is the brilliant, wealthy inventor whose company built the bridge which collapsed to cause the railway accident. While neither Jack nor Nicola are aware at first of this connection between them, it's a major plot point and cause of dramatic tension in the story.
It can't have been easy to write a romance where only one of the characters is able to properly converse, though Maggie Robinson worked around it by having Nicola pen messages in a notebook. The village of Puddling-on-the-Wold and the eccentric cast of characters there was brilliantly built, and although this is the third book in the series you certainly don't have to have read the previous books to thoroughly enjoy this one... previous characters made no more than the briefest of appearances.
This was charming, different and thought-provoking, not to mention offering an intriguing glimpse into Victorian-era medical thought! Five stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.