Tuesday, July 06, 2010
A Perfect 10: BARELY A LADY by Eileen Dreyer
Drake’s Rakes, Book 1
A Perfect 10
Grand Central's Forever
Charleroi and Brussels, Belgium – 1815
Olivia Grace is a chaperone in the crowded ballroom; while the ball commences, the men in the field nearby are preparing for the battle of Quatre Bras, Waterloo. Olivia meets Lady Kate, the Dowager Duchess of Murther, and her friend, Grace Fairchild. When the canons roar, people begin to evacuate back to England, and Olivia is left behind. She finds herself harassed by her ex-husband’s cousin Gervaise, a man she abhors, but one who is determined to have her. Lady Kate saves the day when she hires Olivia to be her companion. Olivia is sure that if Lady Kate knew who she really was, she would be ostracized, but she dare not reveal her past until she can safely get away from Gervaise. Grace asks Olivia to accompany her through the battlefield to look for her father; she has not heard from him since the battle began. They set out through the melee in a carriage seeing death and destruction everywhere.
On the battlefield, Olivia is shocked when she finds her ex-husband, Jack Wyndham, an English earl, in a French uniform. He is badly injured. They had a short eleven-month marriage and have been separated for five years. Even with what he put her through, she has to save him. After putting an English uniform on him, she takes him and a few other wounded men to Lady Kate’s home where a doctor is caring for the soldiers.
A few days later, Jack finally awakens and is happy to see Olivia, his Livvie. He remembers nothing of the last five years and nothing about what happened when he divorced her. In the meantime, two men are looking over the battlefield to find Jack Wyndham. One of them is called the Surgeon, but should have been called the Butcher. He knows that he may need his skills when he finds Jack. Is the other gentleman Jack’s cousin Gervaise? Will Olivia be able to keep Jack safe when she is barely hanging on?
Eileen Dreyer is a talented author who has written books in many different genres, including suspense, fantasy, and contemporary under the pseudonym of Kathleen Korbel. BARELY A LADY is her first historical in the Regency period, and she handles it beautifully. This woman can write anything and readers will want to read it. BARELY A LADY is a terrific romance with suspense and adventure. It is a meaty story which will leave readers gasping for more. Luckily, this story is the first of a trilogy.
Olivia is a wonderful heroine who had to handle the ostracism from her family, not to mention the unhappiness she experienced from her husband and trying to save her child. Jack is a hero who believed the wrong people and condemned his wife when he should have believed in her integrity. Is he a traitor or an honorable man? Secondary character Lady Kate is an intriguing woman who suffered through her own problems and rises above it; Gervaise is a despicable character always wanting what Jack has and willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
Readers will be turning the pages of BARELY A LADY and begging for more. Wonderfully written with excellent dialogue, plotting, and with delicious characters, it is an excellent tale that you won’t want to miss, worthy of an RRT Perfect 10.