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Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Oaks of Lindore



The Oaks of Lindores by Lori Shimer
Publisher: Awe-Struck Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Tammy had not been born to the purple, although her father, Charles, had been related to the house of Lindores. Charles, a widower, had taken Tammy to a poor French village, where they could live on his dead wife's meager trust. When Tammy was eighteen, the Earl of Lindores and his heir drowned in a boating accident and Charles had, unexpectedly, succeeded to the title. Another branch of the family went to court over the succession but Charles moved back to England at once and took over the Lindores estate. He sent Tammy and her nursecompanion, Nevins, to live at the vicarage of Deems, entered London society himself and took on Clio Barrington, the most fashionable mistress he could find. When Clio gave birth to the son Charles had always wanted, he gave the baby his own name and got his solicitors started on petitions to legitimize the boy.

Tammy's future was settled by the earl's choice of Captain Kenneth Montrose, a relative of his wife's, for a husband. Tammy hadn't liked the idea of marrying someone she didn't know but the thought of a new little brother made everything easier. She agreed to go to London to meet the suitor.

Solicitors and barristers for the other branches of the family worked harder than ever, contesting Charles' elevation to the title as well as his recognition of Clio's son. Charles countered by securing his rents in a trust and stripping Lindores of the valuable oak timber so Little Lord Charlie would inherit its wealth no matter what happened in court.

Down-to-earth, unpretentious Lady Damarete (Tammy) arrives in London from her quiet life in the Vicar’s household in the village of Deems with a mission – to find her baby half-brother and his mother. Her guardian, the vicar’s mission is for her to choose a husband during her fortnight stay so someone else will be responsible for her.

Tammy, having inherited a sizeable fortune more-or-less by default, is a prize to vie for and four suitors have assembled at Tammy’s host’s home in London to do just that. Thus, the stage is set for some remarkable happenings.

Lori Shimer uses the mores of the time of Queen Victoria’s reign in England to create a fast-moving account of a young woman who has no rights by law but still finds ways to get what she wants while eluding many pitfalls. The undercurrents in the social flow in London does not deter her as she asks people from stable boys to the Prince of Wales where she might find her baby half-brother and his mother. While dealing with fortune-fortuning suitors and learning the social graces acceptable in London society, Tammy takes the reader on a sometimes tense but always intriguing adventure, an adventure on which she finds her soul-mate – finally someone of her own to love.

The major secondary characters are well developed and are influential in the outcome of events. Elegant, Doll, Nevin, Rowan, and Francis play important roles in Tammy’s finding a happy-ever-after.

The psychological undercurrents in The Oaks of Lindores, the real needs that drive the characters to do the things they do, reveal some poignant moments in the lives of the major characters.

Lori Shimer’s style of writing makes reading easy and fun – ENJOYABLE.