Highborn Anna Arrington has been "following the drum," obeying the wishes of her cold, controlling cavalry officer husband. When he dies, all she wants is to leave life with Wellington’s army in Spain behind her and go home to her family’s castle in Scotland.
Sergeant Will Atkins ran away from home to join the army in a fit of boyish enthusiasm. He is a natural born soldier, popular with officers and men alike, uncommonly brave and chivalrous, and educated and well-read despite his common birth.
As Anna journeys home with a convoy of wounded soldiers, she forms an unlikely friendship with Will. When the convoy is ambushed and their fellow soldiers captured, they become fugitives-together. The attraction between them is strong-but even if they can escape the threat of death at the hands of the French, is love strong enough to bridge the gap between a viscount’s daughter and an innkeeper’s son?
The Sergeant’s Lady caught my eye on netgalley for some reason even though I don’t read that many historical romance novels.
The setting is the Peninsular war in Spain, a period I know next to nothing about. So I completely had to rely on Ms. Fraser to transport me there and she did an awesome job. I don’t know whether all the details and events were 100% correct but the book felt as if a lot of research had gone into it. Apart from the romance we learn a lot about life as a soldier and as a soldier’s or officer’s wife who followed the army, about how and where they lived etc. That was really interesting and an added bonus.
The romance between Will and Anna developed wonderfully. There was an attraction from the start, but since she was married there obviously could be no contact between them. Even after the husband was conveniently removed by his own stupidity both had qualms about getting together and hesitated, but not to the extent that I wanted to just throttle them and tell them to go ahead already.
The supporting characters in the story were all very believable, even though not all likeable. However, without the villain of the piece the story would have come to a halt without a solution in sight, so his existence was a necessary evil. The resulting separation of the lovers and subsequent events all made total sense and the whole book came to a very satisfactory conclusion. I loved it.
One point that struck me as a little strange – but that may be down to my lack of knowledge about the society at the time – was the fact that Anna could not possibly be with a common soldier (this was absolutely clear to both of them from the start), but she could be with a low born civilian. At least it seemed to be possible without too bad social repercussions, even though some of her family members thought differently. What IS the difference? I didn’t quite understand that.
If you want to read a great romance and learn something about the Napoleonic wars, pick up this book!
|Title||The Sergeant’s Lady|
|Buy link||Buy The Sergeant’s Lady (on sale 08/23)|