Susan Sizemore is having a grand time with the MacLeods, her family of
19th century spies and secret agents. Readers will have a grand time as
well, as long as they suspend their disbelief, enter into the fantasy
and do not take the plot too seriously. Captured Innocence
provided this reader with several hours of pure fun. Sometimes this is
all we need.
Kit Fox MacLeod was adopted by the family when he was caught
burglarizing their home as a small child. His already polished skills at
breaking and entering have been honed over time and have proven very
useful. He has grown up into a charming rogue whose success with the
ladies is legendary as well as an effective secret agent. Lady Lily
Bancroft has equally unusual antecedents. She is the daughter of Maxim
IV, the deposed king of Bororavia, a small kingdom in the Baltic region.
Maxim had been given sanctuary in England and Lily had been raised as
the daughter of a Yorkshire squire rather than a princess.
Kit and Lily meet at a ball in the Bororavian embassy in London one
night in 1880. Kit daringly asks the lovely Princess Lily to waltz and
this brief encounter proves to be momentous for both parties.
Lily is an unwilling princess; several weeks earlier, thugs had arrived
at her Yorkshire home and kidnapped both her and her mother. The
abduction was the work of her unpleasant cousin, the usurper, King
Gregory. The king needs an heir and he needs to placate his unhappy
nobles. Marrying his cousin, who has a legitimate claim to the throne,
will kill two birds with one stone. Never mind that the last thing Lily
wants is to marry Gregory or be queen. Unless she agrees, her beloved
mother will be murdered.
The British government has an interest in Bororavia and its king. Not
only do they want trade concessions, but rumor has it that Gregory is
consorting with anarchists. Kit is assigned to break into the embassy
and discover what the king is up to.
That first waltz and subsequent encounters serve to first ignite and
then fan a flame between the two. Lily realizes that Kit has his own
agenda, but wonders whether she can allow him to seduce her so that her
cousin will no longer wish to marry her. Kit knows that his feelings
for Lily run deeper than mere attraction, but he also knows that a man
with his background cannot aspire to marry a princess.
Thus the fun begins; and it is fun! There are plots and counterplots,
abductions and rescues and lots of sexual tension between the hero and
heroine. There is international intrigue and national interest. There
is conflict between duty and desire.
The cast of secondary characters keeps things moving. Gregoryís long
time mistress is on the scene to threaten the heroine. The Bororavian
courtiers have their own agendas. The unusual MacLeod daughters have
their roles to play as do the other members of the family.
So plunge in and enjoy yourself. Itís fun to watch the naive Lily
gradually begin to understand the devious nature of power politics and
to assert herself. Itís fun to watch Kit find himself caught by loveís
snares. And if the way the plot resolves itself is over the top and
improbable, well the whole story is unlikely. But Sizemore isnít aiming
for verisimilitude; sheís aiming for entertainment. And she certainly