Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lord Barry's Dream House





ISBN 978-0-7090-8412-9.

When Lord Edmund Barry unexpectedly arrives from Jamaica, where Lady Juliana thought him to be safely out of the way, it was somewhat of a catastrophe. Not only has she to explain to him that her beloved father, Architect and builder overseer, of Lord Barry’s future home has passed away, but also that she had taken over the job of finishing his house and that she has without so much as a by-your -leave, altered some of the plans and added features which she was sure lord Barry would desire and enjoy,him being a modern and forward thinking young man, as she was sure he was.

Lady Juliana had been trained by her father, an eminent Architect of the day, as had her cousin Henry Scott, who was also her right hand man; no decisions were made without Henry’s input. To be a trained lady Architect in the Regency era was virtually unheard of and would not be accepted by the majority of society. This was why Lady Juliana had omitted to notify Lord Barry of her father’s demise, but had carried on sending him information just as she had always done before, when her father was still alive.

The house was going well although some mishaps had occurred and both Juliana and Henry were sure that they could lay the blame at Sir Phineas Forsythe’s door. He thought it most irregular for a woman to be in charge of finishing the house, which had been the brainchild of Lady Juliana’s father. He decided he was the right man to finish the job and had caused problems from the time that Juliana took over the job. Unfortunately Juliana and Henry could prove nothing against the wretched man. Lady Juliana was determined to finish what she judged to be her father’s finest work and not to let an amateur architect like Sir Phineas take it away from her.

Lady Juliana found Lord Barry a tiresome patron and wished him back in Jamaica and when he was offered accommodation at her home while he was viewing his new house, by her mother Lady Hamilton, Juliana’s heart sunk. Now she must account to him for all of the changes which she had made, it was unlikely that he would leave until he had inspected everything, would she still be charge when he did leave?.

The news that Lord Barry was staying at the Hamilton residence soon spread and many morning calls were made by hopeful mamas. A lord in the village and a very rich one, who was soon to become a neighbour, set many hearts fluttering. Lady Juliana’s sister lady Barbara who was undeniably very beautiful and their mother’s obvious favourite, fluttered her eyes at the eligible visitor as did another notable local beauty Lady Rosamund, whenever they were able to catch his attention, which was quite often as they called at the building site to inspect the progress as much as they were able to.

Lady Juliana was fearful that Lord Barry would not agree with some of the changes which she had made and that he would give the finishing of the house over to a man, but as time progressed and he looked over the work she became less apprehensive and more daring in her suggestions for the finishing touches of the house. When to her great surprise he asked her to accompany him to London to pick furniture for his home she could hardly believe her luck. But when in London he also determined to look about him for a suitable wife she was devastated, why she could not explain, as she detested the man. Obviously the local beauties had not taken his fancy, despite flattering him and hanging on his every word, they would be disappointed if he settled on a wife in London, she mused.

This is an unusual book and the heroine is an unusual lady of those times. Can Lady Julian’s find her heart’s desire and does she indeed know what she desires?

There are many unusual characters in this delightful story and I hope you will read the book and get to know the characters and enjoy them. I award this book 4.5 red Roses.

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