Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Baird Wells’ VERMILLION – Battlefield Regency Takes You to Waterloo

Set in Belgium, beginning in 1815, this is the story of American Kate Foster, a young widow trained by her father to be a doctor. After a bad marriage and her father’s death she left for Belgium where she works as a nurse treating wounds for the British.

When the regiment's doctor’s dies and a new commander, General Matthew Webb, a viscount in private life (now an earl), shows up, her position is threatened. Despite their clashes, Kate finds herself respecting him. Matthew is a married man, estranged from his wife and concerned only with his men and getting them ready for the battle to come with Napoleon. But soon, he finds he is attracted to the nurse who is willful and stubborn.

The story begins with Matthew showing up at Kate’s home in New York after the war has ended where it seems Kate is dead (a depressing beginning), but since I knew this was romance, I kept reading. The first part of the story is told primarily through Kate’s letters from the battlefield to her sister back in America, which Matt reads upon his arrival.

Matthew and Kate have similar pasts with unfaithful marriage partners. Both are strong, willful people who care about their families (Kate her sister and Matthew his mother).

The best of this story—and very well told—are the medical treatments Kate employs and how she deals with the men. The author did a great job of portraying Kate’s care. I also liked the history, even to the names of the British officers, as they prepared for battle. The Battle of Waterloo, which comes toward the end, is very exciting. I felt like I was there.

The story felt overlong at times and the medical information abundant, but that might just be me. The forms of address bothered me a bit, too. If he is “General Lord Webb” and a viscount (who became an earl), there should have been titles given but alas, there were none. It seems “Webb” is his surname. Too, his mother, a dowager countess who was styled “Lady Webb” would have used the title. And then there was the Duchess of Richmond styled as “Lady Richmond” when she would have been “Her Grace the Duchess of Richmond.” As a widow, Kate would not have been “Miss” Foster either. All these were noticeable but minor distractions.

It’s a great story for those who like romance set during times of war.

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