Christina McKnight has done it again; this charming Regency romance packs a weighty emotional punch for a short novella. We suffer along with Lettie as she tries to come to terms with her husband’s tragic death at Waterloo, as she tries to return to the only life left to her as a daughter of one of the Ton’s highest-ranking families despite knowing that she has seen too much and suffered too much in her years as a soldier’s wife ever to be ‘one of them’ again.
Daniel, Duke of Linwood, wasn’t ready to be a husband to Lettie six years before when he allowed her to break their engagement to marry the man she loved. It’s taken him this long to understand that, and for a senseless tragedy he could have prevented to bring him to a bitterly-won maturity. Though he hasn’t seen the horrors of war that Lettie has suffered - and reading from a modern perspective, Lettie’s obvious PTSD is beautifully depicted and never belittled - he does try to understand, and seek to be a supportive friend and not press her for anything more.
My only complaint with this book is that it was too short. I’d have loved to see a few more chapters covering Daniel doing his best to allow Lettie as much time as he could to come to terms with their marriage, and her gradual realization that she could feel love for a second man even while she would always miss her husband.
Christina McKnight writes beautifully for the time period, but I did pick up a couple of tiny modernities creeping in; “gotten” is an American term anyway and certainly not one that would come from an Englishman’s mouth in the 19th century, and tea is never drunk with cream even today. In the Regency era it was generally drunk with lemon, and honey if required, as a sweetener. A historically knowledgeable beta reader should pick those up, and I’d advise seeking one for future works.
Such small things as these did not remotely spoil my enjoyment of the book, though, and I’m happy to give it five well-deserved stars.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.