Flora’s Wish is book 1 of The Secret Lives of Will Tucker Series, so let me tell you about Will Tucker.
Wait—I can’t. I know very little about him, and much of what I do know would be a spoiler. Sorry kids, my hands are tied.
I can tell you about Flora, who’s supposed to marry him, and Pinkerton Agent Lucas, who is hunting him, but I can’t tell you about the man himself.
Flora is in a battle with her cousin to keep her plantation home in post-war Natchez, thanks to some peculiar demands her grandfather had in his will. Without this property, her sister, injured in a childhood accident, would have to leave the cottage she lived in on the acreage. Time is running out, and Flora must marry—and create an heir—or the entire property goes to her cousin Winnie. Problem is, Flora, who has been engaged four times, has already lost four fiancés to fatalities.
But those deaths aren’t why Lucas is on the scene. He’s hunting fiancé #5, Will Tucker, and will stop at nothing to catch him. The Pinkerton agent is also a gadget inventor, which gives this romance a slight steam-punk flavor, and his listening and spying devices work in his favor to stay on Will’s tail. But the best way to catch up with Will is to stay by Flora’s side.
Flora intends to protect Will for all she’s worth, and foils every opportunity to nab the man. Lucas must convince her that Will Tucker is not the man for her, but does all this togetherness mean that Lucas is the one she needs? All through the novel, the interactions between these two are fun, romantic, and charming.
I don’t get to use the word “clever” very often in reviewing novels, but this one definitely is. Kathleen Y’Barbo has definitely captured my attention, because I want to know how she goes through an entire series without making the title character a main character. In Flora’s Wish, we catch snippets of the charming man, discussions with him here and there, frustrations everyone experiences because of him, near-misses catching/marrying him. But in all this, he appears in only a few pages throughout the entire book.
Kathleen not only is a pro at weaving entertaining tales, she is also an expert at weaving fun.