14 February 2020

Mrs Calcott's Army by Lorraine Swoboda Reviewed by: Mary Chapple

A Regency Romance for Valentine's Day
Shortlisted for Book of the Month


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"Oh I enjoyed this one! A charming and beautifully written romance to read when the weather outside is cold and wet"

#DDRevs Historical Fiction Reviews 

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Regency romance

1800s
Dorset, England
"Lydia Calcott, making her lonely way home from market, is accosted and savagely attacked. She is rescued from drowning by Major Mark Roper, a stranger to the area, who takes her back to his temporary quarters at Brockhill Manor. Hearing her story, Mark vows to protect her until the would-be murderer is taken up. How to find one unknown man before he can come back to finish her off is a challenge to which Mark rises with the aid of his brother, his batman, and some old army friends.
During her enforced convalescence at the Manor, and with new friends to support her, Lydia discovers the strength and the determination to fight for herself; but there is more than one enemy waiting for her to fail, and past secrets which could shatter all her hopes."

Oh I enjoyed this one! A charming and beautifully written romance, with a twist of mystery, to read when the weather outside is cold and wet, feet up on a foot-stool before a crackling log fire, box of chocs to hand... The main characters are immediately engaging and you instantly feel interested in what they do, what happens to them and how they react and deal with the circumstances that arise - in other words, they very quickly become your friends.

The detail of early nineteenth-century life in Dorset, England, is expertly handled - fictional places blending seamlessly with real ones, historical events neatly slotted into a made-up plot. 

This is a character-led novel; it is not an action-packed romp, nor is it a 'heaving-bosomed', lipstick-clad woman pouting over a scantily-clad muscle-bound torsoed hunk on the front cover type historical romance. It is far more sophisticated. Fans of Jane Austen should love it. 

Not a romance reader? Try this one, I think you'll be converted!

I have only one complaint: why has Ms Swoboda only written this one novel? More please.

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds

© Mary Chapple

 e-version reviewed
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