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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Merely a Mister by Sherry Lynn Ferguson

Merely a Mister by Sherry Lynn Ferguson
Publisher: Avalon Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Can a marquis ever be “merely a mister”? Myles Trent, Marquis of Hayden and heir to the wealthy Duke of Braughton, is soon to find out. When illness curtails his Continental tour, Lord Hayden retreats to England’s bucolic lake country. Finding unanticipated refuge in the home of Everett Whyte and his charming daughter, Anne Hayden finds that his interests—as an aristocrat and as a mere gentleman—are decidedly at odds. Some local farmers are grumbling that in the aftermath of victory over Napoleon, not all are benefiting from the peace. Aware of the disputes and discontent, Hayden hides his identity while investigating.

For herbalist and healer Anne Whyte, “Mister” Myles is simply another patient—or so she tells herself. Yet she finds the importunities of local swain Perry Wenfield more annoying than usual. And her father’s trips into the countryside have assumed a mysteriously troubling aspect. Might she trust Mr. Myles to help resolve her difficulties, or does he present one of his own?

Myles knew he was ill but thought he was strong enough to make it the English countryside to check on some of his father’s properties. He never expected to pass out. When he awakens, he’s very pleased by the face above him. He even suggests he’s in heaven.

Ms. Ferguson writes a charming romance tale that evolves slowly. Her two main characters are strong individualists who are “following a different drummer”. Myles should have been married by now. All the fellows around him have married, including his younger brother. Most women are too fickle and flighty to interest him. Anne is an herbalist (which some people don’t understand) and has a limp from an injury. She’s pretty enough to attract men, but she thinks most of them are full of self-worth and self-interest and they don’t amuse her.

When Myles identifies himself, everyone assumes he’s Mr. Myles. He’s actually a Marquis, but he’s hearing some harsh words about his father and wants to see why, so he stays a “mister”.

The story is set right after Napoleon’s defeat when Barons still held the land and the people paid him rents for use of the land and buildings. The author uses a mix of political differences and greed to create a plot that has more than one angle and holds your attention as you read. I especially liked how she portrayed the word play between Myles and Anne. Their distinct personalities clash here and there and even though they're both attracted to each other, they both have hesitations. Watching their dance of love is great fun.

Why not visit the bucolic countryside of Olde England and follow these two on the path of love. They have lots to discover about life and truth before you get to the end of their story.