The Lady and the Barrister (Return to the Ladies of Sommer by the Sea Book 1)

Ruth A.

Lady Marianna (Anna) Ravencroft is surprised when Captain Fraser Castleton, lately Duke of Willbury, walks into the lending library with his friend, Barrington. He is home in Sommer-by-the-Sea after returning from the Napoleonic wars. She has not seen him since before he left some ten years before. They take up as best friends, just as they were before he left. They realize they share the same problem: men swarm to Anna because of her family’s wealth, not caring a whit about her, and ladies and their mamas all seek him out just because he is a wealthy Duke. They decide to pretend to be a couple while trying to find the perfect match for the other. Little does Anna know Fraser has already found the perfect woman in her. Now he just needs to convince Anna to marry him.

“The Lady and the Barrister” has some laughable times thrown in with the somber moments.  Anna, Fraser, and other characters are well written with much depth and fortitude while working well together for the overall good of the town. The villain who is also vying for Anna’s hand has ulterior motives. The plot is just convoluted enough to keep the reader engaged. However, this tale drags from the beginning to the end. There are several passages where it is difficult to discern who is speaking. The timeline is uncertain. At one time, Anna has not seen Fraser in five years, then it is expanded to ten. Still a neat story, it combines many concentrated emotions from several characters, bringing them to life. A moving tale and a great way to begin a series!

Belinda Wilson