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Monday, January 26, 2009

Paging Miss Galloway by Susanne Marie Knight

Paging Miss Galloway by Susanne Marie Knight
Publisher: Awestruck eBooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Orchid
MORE THAN SHE BARGAINED FOR: Danielle Galloway is determined to visit her convalescing brother. She won’t let her father’s lack of permission stand in her way. Disguising herself as Danny, a servant boy, she takes to the road to begin her grand adventure...only to have her money stolen and her face battered by street ruffians. Now how will she get to the resort town of Bath?

MORE THAN HE BARGAINED FOR: The Earl of Trelaine rescues a down-on-his-luck young lad. Against his better judgment, he takes Danny on as his page as he journeys to Bath. But this boy harbors a shocking secret. What’s the earl going to do when he discovers his latest act of kindness might hurl him into the parson’s mousetrap?

Danielle Galloway receives a letter from her brother Benjamin and learning he is ill she quickly decides to go and take care of him. Her father Sir Ambrose Galloway refuses to let her travel to Bath so Danielle cuts her hair and dons male clothes to become the servant boy, Danny. She sets off to catch the mail coach for Bath confident nothing will happen to her in the few days it will take her to complete her journey

Edward Sterling, the fifth Earl of Tremaine, is traveling to Bath to discover the details of his inheritance. As third in line of succession he had not expected to inherit the title or estate and has no idea if he is encumbered by debts or if he is now a man of affluent means. His time in the Royal Navy has made him a strong willed man, with an underlying streak of compassion.

Danielle soon finds life as one of the lower classes is not as safe as she thought. Before she can buy a ticket for the coach she is set upon by two urchins who steal her money and knock her unconscious. The Earl of Tremaine comes to her rescue and offers to take her to Bath if she will act as his page. She accepts, not being fully aware of the duties of a page. Edward soon becomes suspicious his page is female and takes steps to see the girl isn’t compromised. Danielle enjoys the journey but must always be on her guard to make sure her true identity is not discovered. Edward has plans for when they get to Bath, but so does Danielle. However, when they arrive they find things are not as either of them anticipated.

Paging Miss Galloway is a lighthearted novel of regency times. Danielle is an intelligent young woman who makes the best of an awkward situation. Determined to help her brother, who she loves dearly, she is willing to act as Edward’s page rather than give up her attempt to get to Bath. The interaction between the two main characters is at times funny, at others serious. Underlying the story is Danielle’s growing feelings for Edward, while Edward is at first nonplussed as to why he feels so protective of a young boy. Once he realizes his page is female, his feelings undergo another change.

I found this book very entertaining and enjoyable. I could feel an invisible string drawing the characters closer to each other, while each fought to maintain the distance required by their positions in life. It was obvious from Edward’s manners that although he was definitely a gentleman, he had not been brought up with the expectations of being an Earl. Danielle’s mother had died when she was young and her father tended to ignore her. She seemed to be unconsciously searching for love.

I did feel at times the dialogue became rather flowery and unbelievable, but on the whole the writing was strong and easy to read. I would recommend this book to lovers of Regency, especially those with a sense of humor.