Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Yuletide Match - Margaret Westhaven

No Place for a Lady

Caroline Percival was born and raised a lady--but family financial disaster forced her to take the unsuitable position of governess in the hellish household of the odious Brangley clan, and the coming of Christmas made her position especially impossible. Even this low rung on the social ladder was threatened by the amorous intent of the lascivious Lord Marchton. Caroline was willing to pay the price to repel this offensive rogue--but his half brother, Mr. Guy Constant, posed a far greater danger to her defiant pride. Where Marchton used his title and brute strength, Constant used wealth, good looks, and charm. And while Marchton had the power to make her lose her post, Guy Constant had the presence to make her lose her head and her heart...

Although of good birth, our heroine Miss Caroline Percival has been forced to work for her living after her father died and left her penniless. At the start of the book, she works as a governess and suffers the advances of Lord Marchton a visitor of the Brangleys whom she works for. In true regency novel fashion, she is of course blamed by Mrs Brangley for the incident and is fired. That was an inauspicious beginning for me as I really don’t like the martyr heroine type. However the book rapidly improved after this with a change of plot and setting. Our heroine goes to Bath to stay with her mother while looking for work. There she meets by accident Mr Guy Constant who happens to be the guardian of a little girl, Harriet, who was staying with the Brangleys, and to whom Caroline was genuinely attached. Mr Constant also happens to be the odious Lord Marchton’s elder half-brother. Seeing her in Bath after the incident with his brother, Mr Constant assumes she is after all a lady of loose morals, following him to Bath to extract money from him, in return for her silence about Marchton’s behaviour. So their first meeting in Bath does not go well. However he soon finds out that Caroline is in Bath to stay with her mother, and realises he accused her unjustly.

With the initial misunderstanding resolved quite quickly, Guy and Caroline’s relationship progresses and blossoms without further mishaps. I quite liked the fact that there were no contrived obstacles, misunderstandings and difficulties. So there is no much drama and emotional upheavals in this book. Guy and Caroline get to know each other better in Bath, and are both involved in taking care of little Harriet, who is an engaging little girl, not at all spoilt or annoying (another plus of this book).

All in all a very enjoyable read, with very likeable characters, light, refreshing and sweet. But if you want lots of drama, tormented characters, anguish and pain, then maybe the book is not for you. Otherwise, I heartily recommend it.

Grade 3.5/5


Ana T. July 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

Hmm not sure if it's my thing or not. I think I'll put it in the WL but with low priority. :-)



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