Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: The Lady and the Highwayman by Charlotte Davila

From the Back Cover:

Lady Elizabeth Bennington has the perfect life: she’s the daughter of an earl and betrothed to her childhood friend, William Hartley, the second son of a duke. But, when her sister’s indiscretion leads to an unplanned pregnancy, and the subsequent disgrace of Elizabeth’s entire family, her idyllic life is thrown into disarray. 

First, her fiance is prohibited from marrying her. Then she receives word that William has been killed by thieves. To top it all off, she gets abducted by a highwayman. Can Elizabeth find love again, and with the most unlikely of people?

My Thoughts:

Elizabeth Bennington's dreams are about to come true. Her dearest friend and secret crush, Will Hartley, the second son of the duke next door, has confessed his feelings for her and proposed marriage. But at their engagement party, Elizabeth's rash younger sister causes a scandal of such epic proportions that Will's father forbids the marriage and goes a step further by sending Will away to ensure he can't have any contact with Elizabeth. Tragedy strikes when Will's traveling party is set on by brigands, and Elizabeth's life becomes one of loneliness, mind-numbing grief, and festering bitterness. Until the night she vows to live again, throws caution to the wind, and flees the stifling confines of her family with her maid in tow, only to be set upon herself by a band of brigands. But there's something achingly familiar about the masked leader, who carries her off and makes her wonder if there's still a chance for her to live the life she was meant to live . . .

I was pleasantly surprised by this little novella. The beginning feels a little under-developed and rushed as all of the elements fall into place very quickly to propel the heart of the story, and there's no time for development of any of the supporting characters, but Ms. Davila has done a pretty good job with the rest, cramming a sweet and sexy little love story into a tiny package. Really tiny--less than 50 pages. This was entertaining as a novella, but it could have been fantastic if it had been fleshed out to a short or full-length novel. Ms. Davila's writing style is natural and elegant, and the period detail is evocative without being overly descriptive. Her characters are lively and her story engaging, and I hope to see more historical romance in the future from this author.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars out of 5

*This review was originally posted to Romantic Historical Reviews.

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