Regency Romance/ Novella
Spain / England
"Lieutenant Jonathan Lewis is devastated when his best friend, Fred, is fatally injured on the battlefield. He willingly promises to take care of Fred’s sister and mother—after all, he has been quietly in love with Fred’s sister, Meg, for years. After a gruelling retreat across Spain, Jon finally returns to find England in the grip of a snowy winter. Thoughts of Meg have kept him going, but when he reaches her home, it is not Meg who meets him at the door but her cousin Rupert. Jon is devastated to learn that Rupert and Meg are to be wed in two days’ time. Despite Rupert’s efforts to keep them apart, Jon manages to talk to Meg, who does not want to marry her cousin. Meg suggests that she would be safe from Rupert’s threats if she married Jon instead. Without hesitation, Jon sets off through the icy conditions and deep snow to get a marriage licence before Rupert can force Meg to marry him. But does Meg only want him for her safety, or could she love him, too? And can he make it back in time?"
A quick read at only seventy-five or so pages, this was a charming little novella, typical of the 'Regency Romance' genre, with all the expected ingredients added into the recipe in the right, master-chef class, order.
I would suggest, however, that this is more of a short story than a novella, the sort of well presented story that I used to read (and enjoy) in the better quality UK women's magazines such as Woman's Own. Maybe a bit too short for something that must be purchased, though? I would have preferred three or four such stories collected together to make a better value-for-money reading experience - but - as quick read short stories go, this was very enjoyable and very well written.
The history appeared to be accurate, the characters were instantly recognisable, the plot moved at a good pace and the end was most satisfactory.
As a story it was very good, I just wish it had been a little longer.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Mary Chapple