Despite my not having read any of the previous Lost Lords series, I very much enjoyed Never Less Than a Lady and found
easy to follow. Our hero, Major Alexander
Randall, sells out from the army in order to find a wife and settle down
when he unexpectedly becomes the heir to an earldom. He just needs to
find the right wife.
Alexander has to come to the rescue of midwife Julia Bancroft, a
woman he met a year and to whom he feels an unexpected
attraction. There’s much more to Julia than meets the eye, and he
quickly decides they should marry. But Julia’s past marriage threatens their happiness, as do the people
who seem to be trying to kill her. Can she and Randall find some sort of
balance in their life?
The author had a good grasp of the historical setting (she does make one
rather amusing mistake, saying that someone had a ‘slice of shepherd’s
pie’ when shepherd’s pie isn’t something with pastry but is minced lamb
with mashed potato on the top, not something one can slice but which has to be
served with a spoon). A few Americanisms slip in, but
overall the setting feels realistic and the characters true to their time.
Both Randall and Julia are
engaging characters, people who think about others rather than being
the selfish aristocrats that one so often reads about. In one slightly
irritating plot thread, Randall worries that Julia doesn’t want to
remain married to him, for which there is no apparent evidence in her behavior following their marriage.
Overall, though, the story is well-
written. I will enjoy reading other books in this series.