REVIEW: Saving Meg: A Regency Romance Novella by Jayne Davis
A soldier returns to keep a promise—but it will prove more difficult than he imagined.
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 grueling 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 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 license 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?
Dear Ms. Davis,
A few years ago, I read another of your novellas, “Captain Kempton’s Christmas” and, feeling in the mood to read another Regency Christmas story, I got this one. Alas, though it’s set during December and there’s lots of snow, there’s no Christmas in this one. That’s okay as the rest of it more than makes up for that.
Lieutenant Jonathan Lewis is almost home. He arrived as quickly after the death of his best friend as could happen, determined to look after widowed Mrs Rymer and Meg, the young playmate of his childhood. But Cousin Rupert (“the weasel” as he and Fred had always called him) won’t even let Jon in the door and announces that he and Meg are to be married. Sensing something isn’t right, Jon sneaks back and finally speaks with Meg who tells him everything – the insinuations, the threats, and the lies. The two quickly cook up a plan to marry instead but in order to do that, Jon will have to brave the snow covered lanes and turnpike to get a special license. Will he make it in time and if he can, does Meg really want to marry him?
This is delightful. Well, not the freezing cold and icy slush that Jon and his poor rented horse Boadicea have to slog through but almost everything else. The small village feel, the loyal servants, the devotion that drives Jon onwards through the dark gloom so he can get the license, protect the woman he now realizes he loves, and (okay I had to say it) make it to the church on time.
Nothing wrenched my focus from the story by seeming incorrect though I probably need to read up on when Regency weddings could be conducted. The ways and means by which weaselly Cousin Rupert had gained control of the situation seemed all too plausible and the risk that his word would carry more weight than Meg’s also (curses) rang true.
But Jon wasn’t going to give up and along the way he met some wonderful, salt of the earth, types willing to lend him a hand. Meanwhile, I (along with the Rymer’s man Farlow) grinned at all the strange and odd things that occured to delay Rupert and Meg reaching the church. It’s sweet, it’s charming, it’s filled with great characters (and NO Dukes!) and (huzzah!) Jon, an ostler, and Meg make sure to rub down Boadicea and give her lots of oats – poor sweet girl. I love characters who take care of the animals. A-