If you haven’t checked the updates to our review policy, please do. Review requests are closed, but I am trying to catch up on my TBR list. Our latest I Love Romance Blog review selection is A Debutante in Disguise by Eleanor Webster. What a great read! 😀
When I picked up A Debutante in Disguise, I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this fascinating package. Webster combines what I’ve come to love about Regency romance novels, while also paving the way for a new approach. I love a female main character who is born out of her time, and Letty is certainly that. With a fondness for science and a penchant for medicine, she strives to break the mold for women in her time period.
As the plot goes on, no one can doubt the author’s thorough grasp of research, and effective methods of using those details to make the tale come alive. Eleanor’s storytelling abilities kept me glued to the page.
Tony’s story is just as compelling, as he’s a war veteran, suffering from PTSD.
Both Letty and Tony are complicated characters on their own, but once you put them in the same room together, there is enough conflict, tension and fire to satisfy any romance reader. Don’t let the first meeting deter you. This slow burn gets so much better, and you’ll realize just how perfect they are for each other. Even an avid feminist will respect Letty’s journey in the book.
Be prepared for all the feels in this romantic, novel approach to the Regency subgenre. The love scenes are tastefully done. Also, the secondary characters are just as enjoyable to learn about. And the ending is the best surprise of all…
I look forward to checking out her other books! ♥
NOTE: I was provided a copy of this fantastic Regency romance novel in exchange for an honest review.
I give this a rating of four hearts for an unforgettable reading experience. Fantastic job, Eleanor! 😀
…with a secret!
Determined to help people, Letty Barton has a double life—she’s a trained doctor! No one must know “Dr. Hatfield” is actually a woman. Called to an emergency, she comes face-to-face with her patient’s brother, Lord Anthony Ashcroft… They’d once shared a spark-filled flirtation—now he’s a brooding, scarred war hero. But how long will it be before he recognizes her beneath her disguise and the sparks begin to fly once more?
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/mgGr9R
Here’s an excerpt.
Before she could complete this sentence, a second wave of interest coursed through the group of onlookers. A tall man approached, striding from the house, his gait uneven. From her kneeling position, the newcomer’s height was extenuated, his broad shoulders all but blocking the sun so that his size appeared superhuman, like Zeus or Neptune.
“Elsie? What happened?” His voice was harsh. “Are you in pain?”
“No, I just went dizzy with the heat. Really, I am quite fine now.” The young woman again tried to rise. Two splotches of color appeared on her otherwise pale cheeks. Her skin looked damp with perspiration. Letty saw miniature beads of moisture along her upper lip and forehead. Moreover, her face had a fullness or puffiness which Letty did not like.
“I disagree,” she said, releasing her wrist. “Your hands and face are bloated. I cannot accurately measure your pulse in present circumstances, but it seems too fast, which could indicate a more serious condition. ”
“Young lady—” The man addressed Letty sharply as he knelt also beside the prone woman. “Who are you? And why are you attempting to scare my sister witless?”
Letty glanced at him. His face was still shadowed from the sun, but there was something arresting about him and she found herself momentarily bereft of breath.
“I do not intend to alarm her,”she said, her mouth peculiarly dry. “Merely to ensure that she seeks medical treatment.”
“She is already under medical care.”
“It doesn’t seem to have been entirely effective. I would advise further consultation.”
“Thank you for that. Obviously, I will ensure her physician is called immediately. ”
“Please, Tony,” the young woman said. “Can we move from here? Everyone is looking. ”
“Let them. And don’t flatter yourself. They are likely more interested in me than you.”
It was true, Letty realized. The group of onlookers had grown and stared openly with an avidity at the gentleman which seemed oddly devoid of good manners—particularly among a group who could forgive murder more readily than a lapse of etiquette.
Letty nodded. “Indeed, I would strongly advise moving out of the heat.”
“It is still quite cool indoors,” Flo said, now also bending. “I can help.”
“Rest assured, I can support my sister,” the gentleman said, putting out one hand to help the young woman.
This single-handed gesture seemed oddly awkward, Letty thought, as she stood, also supporting the young woman.
“Perhaps—however, you appeared injured when you walked here. You are only offering one hand and, depending on the nature of your injury, the strain might do further harm.”
“You need not concern yourself. I am quite capable of managing my own physical condition,” he said tersely.
“Now, rise slowly and you will be less likely to feel vertiginous,” Letty said, ignoring the irascible gentleman as they helped his sister rise.
Together, they moved towards the familiar stone bulk of her family’s home, crossing the lawn, an odd, unwieldy threesome, while Flo walked ahead. They left the crowd behind and the quiet deepened as the chatter of voices fell away and Letty could better hear the young woman’s labored breathing.
With her arm about the woman’s waist, Letty could feel the bulge of pregnancy—about five or six months along—although these new fashions made her belly less noticeable. Occasionally, she peeked at the gentleman, but he kept his face averted and largely in profile, silhouetted against the bright summer sky.
Although tall and broad, he had thinness also, likely due to whatever hardship he had endured. There was a familiarity about him. She saw it in his profile and the timbre of his voice. She could not place him, but she had likely met him during her eighteen months in London and her peculiar double life, that odd mix of days and nights within London’s brightest ballroom and the morgue.
“The front Salon will be hot,” Letty said, as they stepped out of the warmth into the familiar front hall. “We should go into the library. It will be cooler. ”
“Yes, of course,” Flo agreed. “And is there anything you need? Smelling salts? Brandy? Well, there is brandy in the library already. But if there is anything else?”
“Solitude and quiet would be nice,” the man said.
“Yes, yes, of course,’ Flo replied, her hands making the fluttering motions she always made when nervous. “I will let Letty—Miss Barton—take you to the library.”
“You didn’t need to be rude,” Letty said to the rather formidable gentleman, as soon as Flo had left.
“It proves effective in clearing a room.”
“So does the discussion of pustules—that doesn’t mean one has to do it.”
AUTHOR: Eleanor Webster
TITLE: A Debutante in Disguise
GENRE: Historical Romance, Regency
RELEASE DATE: June 1, 2019
OUR RATING: ♥♥♥♥
REVIEWED BY: Marie Lavender
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