The Lady’s Maid

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Title: The Lady’s Maid
Series: Prairie Dreams
Author: Susan Page Davis
Publisher: Barbour Books
Published: October 1, 2011
Pages: 320

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Elise Finster and her British mistress are on a mission to find her mistress’s uncle, the new heir to an estate in England after he came to America and just disappeared. Elise is determined to guard and help her mistress, Lady Anne, even if it means she has to travel in a covered wagon across the prairie to Oregon. Now all they need to do is spend six months out in the open and in the sun.

After losing his wife on the Oregon Trail, Edwin “Eb” Bentley believes the last thing he needs is a woman. So when he has two unprepared proper ladies trying to get to Oregon, he feels nothing but contempt. Until he gets to know the two ladies, especially Elise, and sees how hard they’re trying to learn. He finds himself attracted to Elise despite his best efforts to not be.

As their attraction grows, they find that someone is following them, for reasons the must find out. They need Eb’s protection from their unknown enemy that always seems to be right on their tail no matter what they do. Elise also has to figure out whether she wants to follow her heart or follow her mistress and finish the mission she started.

Will Elise pick her heart or her obligation to Lady Anne? Will Eb be able to keep them safe along the trail or will their enemy get to the ladies despite his best efforts? Will Lady Anne find her uncle or will she have to return to England in defeat? Who is following them? Why is he following them? Will the find out before something happens or after?
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Like most books, I picked this one solely because of the cover. From the cover I expected to get your average Christian romance, nothing fancy, nothing too passionate and that’s exactly what I got. In this book’s case though, I was more interested in the quest for David Stone than I was interested in the romance. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see Elise and Eb end up together, but it wasn’t my main focus of the book an I feel like the author’s focus wasn’t on the romance either.

The premise of this book is great, two English high-bred ladies strike it out on their own on the Oregon Trail while searching for an elusive uncle. The execution wasn’t quite as good unfortunately. Having a story set on the Oregon Trail is basically any reader’s and writer’s historical dream. You kind of expect to get a wealth of information about the Oregon Trail and the hardships people faced crossing it, but unfortunately that information was sorely lacking dropping this book’s potential in my opinion.

I felt that the romance of this book was kind of an after-thought. It seemed like for most of the book they couldn’t stand each other and then all of a sudden, they’re attracted to each other. However, the parts that had romance in it, we’re cute. I loved the culture clash turned into romance. Where else but a romance novel can you have an English maid fall in love with an American scouter slash rancher? Though the execution of it was lacking the premise and parts of the romance were keys to an ideal romance.

The storyline of this book was okay. The story lagged in some areas but the parts that didn’t were enjoyable and kept me hooked, making me hesitant to put the book down. The book ends on a cliffhanger, but, thankfully, not a suspenseful one. It’s an ending that makes you want read more in the series but if you didn’t, you probably wouldn’t forever wonder what you missed. For the most part I enjoyed the storyline and its execution.

This book is great for a quick read but if you’re expecting more than a typical Christian romance with a little mystery you will be sorely disappointed in this book. I do intend to read more in this series and more by this author. Though this book wasn’t the best, I feel like this author is a good author and I’m curious as to what else she can do.

Overall, a nice typical Christian novel, but doesn’t stand out too much other than the open ending. This book is perfect for teens, adults, and possibly even younger readers. Fans of this author will probably love this book. I give this book a three out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of the ebook from Barbour through the Net Galley program in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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