Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday, 4 August 2007

No Place For A Lady

NO PLACE FOR A LADY/LOUISE ALLEN/Harlequin Mills & Boon Ltd/paperback

September 1814.

The story begins on the Bath Road just outside of Hounslow. A race between members of the Nonesuch Club, for a bet, almost causes a crash between a stagecoach full to bursting with passengers and a drag being driven by Max Dysart, The Earl of Penrith’s young cousin. As they narrowly whip past the stage Max catches a glimpse of a strained white face battling to control the horses, the face of a woman, but it can’t be, women do not drive stagecoaches.
Miss Bree Mallory is too involved with the running of the best coaching company on the roads, The Challenge Company, to be interested in mixing with the ton, or in marriage, she has won her independence through much hard work and does not intend to give it up lightly. She is half sister to James Kendal, Viscount Farley. Her Mother, a Baron’s Daughter was once married to the Honourable Henry Kendal, the son of a viscoun; when he died she married Mr William Mallory for love, much to the disgust of her family. Edwina Mallory’s eldest son, by Henry Kendal, was on the death of her husband taken by her in-laws to raise as was befitting of their grandson. Then later Bree and her young brother Piers were born to Mr and Mrs Mallory. The connection between their older half-brother and themselves was very slight and the two Mallory’s were content to leave it that way.
Bree was indeed driving the stage coach but she had tried her best to disguise the fact that she was a woman. Bree is a very independent and capable young women ,born out of her time as young ladies of quality rarely worked outside of their homes.
Meeting Max Dysart at The Bell Inn at Hounslow where both the stage and the drag whips stopped, he realises that she indeed is a lady of quite exceptional character and gentile birth, and is instantly attracted to her. To save her reputation Max drives the stagecoach back to the Mermaid Inn, where the stagecoach company is run from, much to Bree’s disgust. She however admits that he is a capital whip, in fact her young brother’s idol.
Through out this exciting book Bree and Max have their differences - can the outcome be a happy one with two such strong characters in contention?
There is something in Max’s past which haunts him and although he falls madly in live with Miss Bree Mallory, can this story have eventually, a happy and satisfactory ending? Have fun finding all the answers. I award this book 5 roses.

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