Monday, October 25, 2010

Miss Dornton's Hero - Elisabeth Fairchild

Fateful Attraction

It was lovely young Miss Margaret Dornton 's first London season. That was why she knew nothing of the fearful reputation of the dark and handsome Evelyn Dade until it was terribly too late.

To be seen in this notorious gentleman's company meant scandal and social disgrace. To be on close terms with him was to court the most dreadful of dangers. And to fall in love with the bitter and brooding Lord Dade went beyond folly into the realm of ruin. But this inexperienced, impressionable young lady did even more. She awoke the passions of this man driven by private demons, for whom love and war were one and the same. Which meant she not only had to fight her own desires but defeat his as well-in a battle to save what was left of her good name even after she had lost her heart....

Although the Napoleonic Wars are present in many regency novels it is not often that they deal with the traumas and scarring from the war. In Miss Dornton's Hero Elizabeth Fairchild brings us one such stories. Evelyn Dade led his men to war and saw every one of them die, now the Ton calls him Captain Death and believes death will follow wherever he goes.

When he first meets Margaret Dornton he saves her from a dog and takes her home. Unfortunately just being seen with such a notorious character is enough to damage Margaret's reputation in the eyes of society. Margaret is a bit naive. She has a few scars herself from having seen her brother die in a fire as a child, and she has an idealistic view of people and the world. She likes Dade, thinks him a hero for saving her and does seem to be much worried about being an outcast of society.

Margaret does grow out of it a bit but she never stops liking Dade and looking forward to be with him socially. Dade, knowing the damage he has done and continues doing to her reputation, would rather stay away but feels unable to do so as Margaret becomes the bright spot in his existence. He even concocts a plan to rescue her reputation and then stay away.

Part of the story is told from his point of view. I really liked that despite the fact that it means a separation for the couple. I think this is not light reading but it definitely is a nice one and we can't help but wish that Margaret and Dade are finally brought together in the end.

Grade: 4/5

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