Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Nearly a Lady

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family)

nearly a ladySet during the early 1800s.

Winnefred Blythe became the ward of The Marquess of Engsly after her father died unexpectedly. She was then shunted of to an estate in Scotland with a governess little older than she was, where she has lived in poverty since.

Lord Gideon Haverston has spent the years since the war avoiding social entanglements. But when his unlamented step-mother disappears, he brother discovers the estate’s affairs are a disaster, and sends Gideon to make reparations to Miss Blythe for the funds it is assumed their step-mother stole from her.

Things are far worse than he expected.

Gideon has been badly broken by the war–a little in his body, but mostly in his spirit.

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.

He wasn’t a hermit. On the contrary, he sought out and enjoyed the company of others. But at the end of the day, he had only himself to look after.

Freddie and Lily are lovely. Although Lily is theoretically in charge of Freddie, there are sisters of the heart by the time Gideon arrives.

“I love you, Lilly Ilestone.” She planted a kiss on her cheek. “I’m sorry I was so rotten at breakfast.”

Lilly returned the kiss. “And I’m sorry I maneuvered you so unfairly into something you don’t want.”

“Sorry enough to—?”

“Not nearly.”

One of my favorite things about her writing is the delightful dialog between the characters.

Winnefred shook her head in bewilderment. “This is absurd. 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.”

Do you play an instrument?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Watercolor, sketch?”


“Can you sing?”

“Not well.”

“Do you know any French?”

A corner of her mouth hooked up. “A bit.” She cleared her throat. And then proceeded to recite a list of French invectives so extensive, so obscene, that she actually hit upon one or two he’d never before encountered.

He gaped at her for a moment. “It is a sad state of affairs, indeed, when a young lady can out-swear a sea captain.

One of the things I particularly like about her books is that the misunderstandings are, well, understandable. Gideon struggles with the deaths of those under his command during the war, and his desire to protect himself and not suffer further guilt is understandable.

And Freddie has spent more than half her life in isolation, and although Lily tried to teach her gentility, she really doesn’t get how society and relationships work. It’s not her fault, and she tries, but she hasn’t had nearly enough time to learn.

The other thing that was particularly fascinating was Freddie’s weakness. Reading it, it’s kind of astounding that motion-sickness has never appeared in another story I’ve read. Sure it isn’t romantic, but considering that it’s not uncommon in modern society, it should have appeared in fiction more often.

I really liked this story

Rating: 8.5/10


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