Thursday, September 24, 2020

Elizabeth Kingston’s A FALLEN LADY – A Gallant Earl and a Fallen Lady of the Ton

Set in 1820, this is the story of Lady Helen Dehaven who, six years before, suddenly refused to marry the man to whom she was betrothed. She told her brother of the man’s horrible deeds done in Ireland but her brother didn’t believe her. Helen now lives alone in the village of Bartle where she has made friends, one of whom is a scandalous French woman who is very charming.


One day, Stephen Hampton, the Earl of Summerdale shows up at her door, claiming his horse lost a shoe. In reality, he is there at her brother’s request to check on his sister in light of a pending business deal with her former betrothed. Stephen is instantly enchanted with Helen and enjoys her whimsical friends. Helen will not warm to him, despite his handsome looks and his great efforts to make her happy.


Each hides something from the other, reluctant to trust based upon their past. But, in time, Stephen comes to care deeply for Helen and to see her real self. She finds she looks forward to his many visits. And yet, still the truth eludes them both.


This a well-written, deeply absorbing story. The emotions are so well done. Once the earl and his fallen lady find love, however, all is not sanguine. The earl remains gallant but his lady seems eager to believe the worst—and does. Of course, that added conflict but it also made the heroine look a tad unworthy of her gallant lord, notwithstanding the wrongs done to her years ago.


Kingston is an excellent storyteller and I continue to enjoy her books.


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