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Nearly a Lady

Monday, October 9, 2017

Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson

Set in England during the regency.

Freddie Blythe and Lilly Ilestone have been barely surviving in Scotland after the death of Freddie’s father and the promise by Lord Haverston to care for his Freddie.

Gideon and Lucien Haverston are trying to set their inherited estates to rights after discovering that their step-mother absconded with a large sum of money after their father’s death (as well as during his life). When they discover their father had a ward, who was left to languish in Scotlan, Lucien sends Gideon up to repair the damage–and, Lucien hopes, repair some of the damage done to him by the war.

Gideon had made one promise and one promise only.

Never again would he be responsible for the well-being of another person.

In the two years since he’d left the Perseverance, he’d managed well enough. He’d sworn off marriage, bucked tradition and eschewed the services of a valet. He’d even refused to have live-in staff at his town house, preferring to eat at his club and relying on a maid to come during the day.

First, Freddie is marvelous. She’s been surviving for years, and although she appreciates the Haverston’s willingness to try to repair the damage dine to her, she doesn’t have much need for London.

What the devil would I do with a London season?”

“Find a husband, I imagine,” was Gideon’s reply.

It only served to mystify her further. “What the devil would I do with a husband?”

“Obtain long-term financial stability,” Lilly told her. “Something more reliable than sheep that can fall ill or crops that can fail.”

I also loved the relationship between Freddie and Lilly, two young women who were left in poor circumstance, and came not just to reply upon one another, but to love each other like sisters.

It wouldn’t be so dreadful, she thought, to wear something that felt like this. “Is it for London?” she asked.

“No, it is for you to wear here.”

She snatched her hand back as if she were burned. “You can’t be serious. We’ve weeks before we leave. What if I ruin it?”

“Then you’ll be publicly flogged and left to languish in the stocks.”

But most of all I adore the humor and sense of fun that both characters have, despite all their issues.

Lilly was the only person in residence proficient at the piano, and so Bess had been recruited as a dance partner for Winnefred. Unfortunately, Bess’s familiarity with popular dances was only slightly more extensive than Winnefred’s, and because the poor girl had no experience at all when it came to dancing in the role of a gentleman, she and Winnefred had spent the last hour bumping into, tripping over, and stepping on each other and the furniture.

Winnefred couldn’t remember ever having so much fun.

But what I liked best is that the struggle to their HEA was due to their personal difficulties but NOT to foolish misunderstandings. They talk to each other. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always make things clear, but they tend not to harbour foolish ideas of what should be versus what is.

“Oh, it’s so lovely . . . I shouldn’t accept this. I shouldn’t accept any of your gifts.”

“Why do you, if it bothers you?” “Because . . .” She shifted her feet and bit her lip.

“Because they’re lovely, and . . . Do you know how many sheep I could buy with this? And the garnet bracelet? It could see Murdoch House through a drought, and . . . And I can’t say no.”

I really liked both characters, that they were good people despite their flaws and issues, and did obviously care for one another.

It really was quite a lovely story, even if it was a boinking book.
Rating: 9/10

Published by the author.

Categories: 9/10, British, Historical, Romance     Comments (0)    



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