Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Gamekeeper's Lady By Ann Lethbridge

Harlequin Historial   May 2011

288 pages     by Ann Lethbridge


Frederica Bracewell grew up under a cloud of shame. As an illegitimate child, she was treated by her uncle like a servant. It wasn't until she encountered the new gamekeeper that shy, innocent Frederica started to feel like a true lady….

Lord Robert Mountford had been banished by his family. After a debauched existence, he reveled in the simplicity of a gamekeeper's lifestyle. Until temptation struck! Frederica's plain appearance and stuttering speech were a far cry from the ladies of the ton, but she might just be his undoing…and unmasking!

This is one of three Harlequin Historicals I got in a recent order and I was pleased with all three of them. I will be giving brief reviews on all three.

I have always been fascinated by the idea of a member of the ton in 'disguise' as someone far beneath him. This is the first book in Ann's 'Rakes in Disguise' series.

Lord Robert Mountford is a devil may care rake of the first order, dallying with widows, married ladies, gambling, everything that is required for the dissipated life of a rake. He goes a step too far and finds himself shunned by his peers and kicked to the cobblestone walk by his imperial father. His older twin brother offers to help monetary wise, but proud Robert will have none of it.

Cut to three years later, and Robert has been working hard these last years, trying to save enough money to pay back his debts. He secures the job of assistant gamekeeper at the Wynchwood Estate. It is here he comes across Frederica Bracewell, niece of the owner. She is treated more as a servant than a beloved member of the family, because she has a cloud of shame over her head, she was illegitimate. Frederica is no raving beauty, and she stutters, but the beyond handsome Robert sees something in her that appeals to him greatly.

Federica is like no lady Robert has ever met, she draws, quite well in fact, and after seeing Robert shirtless, asks if he will pose for her. One thing leads to another and sparks ignite between the two. When the story stayed focused and Robert and Frederica in that small gamekeeper's cottage, I was enchanted. Wonderful couple, so much to overcome. And the love scenes sizzled.

But I found the conflict near the end of the book that took place at a masked ball somewhat convoluted
and predictable, but it did not take away from the overall enjoyment of the read.

Well written, well developed characters, the heat between the hero and heroine was sensual and lush, and the story worked best when it stayed focused on the two in that small little cottage.

3.5 stars out of 4 for the book

KOVER KUDOS: Attractive cover, but I would have preferred to see Robert in his gamekeeper's outfit, carrying a brace of rabbits and a gun, wind tossed hair, open shirt, you get the picture!
You could have Frederica sitting on a rock sketching...dang, I should be doing covers!

2.75 stars out of 4 for the cover


Deb said...

Ooh, I like the sound of this book, Karyn! I will be sure to look for it because I want to read it. Yes, you should be doing covers. Your suggestion was a very good one.

Karyn Gerrard said...

It was very good, I LOVED the hero, Robert was wonderful.

Thanks about the cover suggestions, LOL! I think it is just me preferring to see the hero on the cover~