Written by: Susan Page Davis
Published by: Barbour Publishing
The Lady’s Maid is a story that pulls you along, begging you to keep reading, despite what I would consider some major flaws. Elise Finster and her British mistress, Lady Anne Stone, travel to America in hopes of finding the missing earl of Stoneford, David Stone. After her father and uncle’s death, Lady Anne is informed that the title (and estate) cannot be passed on until there is proof of David’s death, or he returns home.
The two prim and proper women embark on a perilous journey to Oregon. Despite their lack of knowledge, the two manage to secure livestock and supplies to join a wagon train. However, Scout Eb Bentley is sure the pair will slow the wagon train down, or worse, get someone hurt or killed. But he cannot help admire Elise’s ingenuity, courage, and determination. And when danger threatens the pair, he vows to protect her all the way to Oregon…or longer if she will allow him.
The characters pull you through the story, despite the fact that there is very little physical description of them. I can’t even tell you what color Elise’s eyes are, or Eb’s hair color, but somehow, you do not care. The girls are so funny, drinking out of china cups on the range, and fretting over whether to get rid of their hoops and crinoline. Overall, though, the characters are not very compelling, and you don’t get absorbed in them.
I did not feel swept away by the romance story between Eb and Elise either. It felt like it just kind of happened and developed. Not that this is a bad thing; however, if you are looking for a romance that makes you squirt tears from your eyes, this is not your book. The story really revolves around the mystery of Anne’s Uncle David. And while it drives you through the story, (despite all the speed bumps) I don’t particularly care for how it ended. While I can see a second book in the series developing from this ending (which there is, Lady Anne’s Quest), I prefer my series to be stand alone, so each one feels like there is a concrete conclusion (even if it is later revealed that the conclusion was not as it appeared).
I am only going to give it three stars, because while I enjoyed the story, I wasn’t thrilled with it. It is a good addition to your bookshelf, but not for the more finicky reader.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Cover art image was obtained from the author’s website.