"A delightful Regency romance"
A delightful Regency romance with a
clever and personable heroine matched with a humble, but intelligent
hero. The mystery is nicely done, the romance is enchanting and the
secondary characters are enjoyable to get to know.
"A beautiful love story mixed with humor, murder"
Ms. Bolen’s “With his Lady’s Assistance” is a beautiful love story mixed with humor, murder, fact and fiction. Bolen uses a threat against the Prince Regent as her plot to thrust her hero and heroine together into an investigation that will take them from finding a killer to finding love. There is a brilliant element to the story as Bolen consistently mocks the social manners and peerage of the era–evident through the eyes of her hero.
Captain Jack Dryden is a spy for the British monarchy and the best according to his superiors. Bolen’s novel starts with him being called back home by the Prince Regent. Apparently he needs Dryden’s assistance in finding out who is trying to kill him. Jack being the son of a country squire is paired off with the eccentric Lady Daphne Chalmers as her phony fiance in order to gain access into the peerage and hopefully find the killer before he succeeds.
Lady Daphne Chalmers, the eldest of the Chalmers girls, is unlike any heroine you will find. She is smart, witty and unlike any of her fair sex, she can best any of her male counterparts. But because of her awkwardness and plainness she remains unwed, much to the chagrin of her family. So you can imagine their surprise and joy when they learn that their ugly duckling is suddenly with a fiancé, not only because they did not know she was being courted, but also because they felt it odd that anyone would be interested in her. Don’t get me wrong, Daphne was loved by her parents and sisters – they had just lost hope of her ever finding someone to love because of her oddity.
To Captain Dryden’s surprise Lady Daphne is as unconventional as they can get. He is thrown into one loop after another as the lady humorously develops story plots to further their investigation while often risking it. I found many of the humorous scenes between the two of them refreshing and excellently executed.
Lady Daphne’s peaceful world is thrown into chaos as she discovers her partner in the investigation is not only handsome, but a man of great integrity, patriotism and of high values. Both Captain Dryden and Lady Daphne are alike in that they hold their values high and the sacrifices they make are always for the benefit of another, unlike many of their peers.
When the Captain first meets Lady Daphne he is convinced of her plainness. He also learns through her cynicism her dislike of her own society as men and women are shown to be adulterous, gamblers and living at the moment with no consequence or thought for tomorrow. As a product of society Daphne is seen plain, tall, unkept and blind. But under Captain Dryden’s moral values and love, she begins to flourish and become a beauty. Bolen cleverly brings about her transformation through vivid prose from the hero’s perspective. I found it interesting that while Captain Dryden was of the world, he was naive to the ways of upper society, while Daphne was not of the world but was knowledgeable in the ways of the worlds. I found this role reversal refreshing.
From a reader’s perspective and one who usually likes reading from the point of view of the heroine, it took me a little to realize that I was reading mainly from the hero’s pov. However, because I was pulled in by the plot and plight of the main characters, I did not seem to mind at all. In the end I was glad not to have let my reading preferences ruin the opportunity to read the entire story.
Bolen is a masterful storyteller who brings us enchanting love stories that offer fresh outlooks on love, while combing humor and mystery. In “With his Lady’s Assistance” she brilliantly creates a world true to the manners, language, fashions and social etiquette’s of the period, while simultaneously introducing people who were very much alive at the time and the morals that were either upheld by a few and lost by many.
Please do not wait to get your copy of “With his Lady’s Assistance” at Amazon.com. I hope you enjoy! – The Regency Inkwell
A Delightful Read
His Lady’s Assistance was a delightful read. The characters are very well developed, and I fell in love with both, Captain Jack Dryden and Lady Daphne Chalmers. After two attempts are made on the Prince Regent’s life, Wellington sends his best spy home to uncover the culprits behind the plot. Captain Jack Dryden meets with the Prince, but there’s one problem, Jack is only the second son of a country squire, so he won’t be able to move very well among the ton. The Prince Regent suggests that Jack use Lady Daphne Chalmers in his search for the mastermind behind the plot, since she is the daughter of the Earl of Sidworth and highly thought of by the ton.
When Jack meets with Lady Daphne, he finds a highly intelligent twenty-four year old spinster, who cares nothing about fashion, but is very well liked by the ton, so he knows she’ll be able to help him. He suggests that they pretend to be engaged. Lady Daphne knows that her father would never accept a lowly captain for her, so she makes up an identity for Jack. He becomes Mr. Rich, a diamond mine owner from South Africa.
At first Jack is only attracted to Lady Daphne’s keen intelligence, but as the story progresses, he is able to see past her dowdy appearance and see the charming vivacious young woman that she is, and he starts to fall in love with her. Lady Daphne refers to Jack as Captain Sublime, but she knows nothing can come of their attraction, because her father will never approve. As the mystery unfolds and the couple spends more time with each other, they fall deeply in love.I loved how Ms. Bolen brings her characters to life, and I fell in love with Jack and Daphne. When they triumph in the end, I wanted to cheer. It’s so refreshing to read a romance that can stand strong without a lot of sensuality. This was a story about a man with high morals and principles, instead of a story about a rich rake, who is reformed by a woman, and I found it to be enchanting. I’ve read quite a few of Ms. Bolen’s books and this one did not disappoint. I highly recommend it because it has the true essence of the regency period.
– Romantic Historical Lovers
5-Stars – "A fun twist on the 'spinster' storytline
This was a fun twist on the "spinster" storyline. Although the heroine is initially considered dowdy and in her twenties, she is not a retiring wallflower. Instead, her amicable nature and intelligence means that nearly everyone considers her a friend and she rares lacks for a dance partner. Unfortunately for the heroine, however, everyone thinks of her as "just a friend" - nobody seems to have a romantic interest in her. Until the hero steps in, of course ;). Another unique aspect is the book is that the hero is not a rake, but rather a gentleman captain who is disgusted with the ton's propensity to have affairs. He also happens, naturally, to be exceedingly handsome.At the beginning of the book, we get a cameo appearance of the prince regent as he requests the captain's assistance in a secret investigation. The heroine, an earl's daughter, is asked to help the captain navigate the ton and they begin a fake engagement. The entire transition is fairly plausible, and the storyline takes off from there. The hero and heroine fall gradually in love (I was surprised to find that this was a clean historical romance). There is also the expected: kidnapping, villain, final showdown, overcoming of the obstacle in the relationship, and happy ending :). I enjoyed it. – The Historical Romance Critic
(NOTE: With His Lady's Assistance is listed on this site as a 5-Star Hall of Fame selection.)
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