May 12 2009
Dear Mrs McLeod,
Reading your Regency novellas is like snacking on a few petit fours with a smooth cup of coffee. A nice, small treat that hits the spot and leaves me satisfied without pigging out.
Emilina Brook is a young woman of good family who is in a situation all too familiar to the Regency world. She’s the eldest daughter of a vicar of limited means and feels the obligation to go out and take a position as a teacher, thus easing the financial burden on her parents and, if she budgets well, perhaps even able to send some money home.
Her two day stage coach journey to Nottingham starts with her attempting to master her tearful emotions at leaving her family behind. Soon she and her fellow passengers begin to awkwardly pass the time with introductions and aimless chatter.
One young man catches her eye as he pays her pointed attention – not all of which Emilina welcomes. Dr. Secord Cardew alternately interests and appalls Emilina. He can be polite and attentive then stuffed up and arrogant. Who, she wonders, is the real man?
I had a notion of what influenced the behavior of Dr. Cardew which, in the end, proved true. Despite our dreams of meeting a suave, sophisticated man who sweeps us off our feet, most of us have to deal with small talk as we get to know someone. But I think, by the time the story is over, that these two are well on their way to seeing what the other is truly like.
The switch in POV for the last chapter seemed slightly abrupt though having the doctor’s view point earlier would have spoilt the charm of the resolution. And even though the story doesn’t end with a HEA, we are left with a hopeful feeling that all will ultimately end well for our couple. B for this sweet tale.
You can purchase this novella in eform from Uncial Press.