The Lady and the Earl (Return to the Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea Book 2)

Ruth A.

Set in 1816, this book is filled with rich detail and intriguing characters. Lady Harriet Manning (Hattie) is practicing to be a physician. Her father, a well-known doctor, has been training her at his side for years. Now she can do much of what he can do. When Asheton, Earl of Lockford, is injured by his horse, he is taken to the clinic where Lady Harriet is working. She sets the bone and gets Ashe started toward recovery. Since the clinic isn’t set up for overnight guests, Ashe stays with her parents. He has done some dangerous work for England, and he must keep this secret from this family, even though he hates that. He falls for Hattie, but has to take care of some details before he can commit. However, once Hattie learns who he really is and meets his friends, they encounter some roadblocks...

This story dishes up multiple characters to keep track of, and the author throws in some ‘red herrings’ to keep readers guessing about who is evil and who is good. Misunderstandings lead to some dangerous situations, but everything works out beautifully in the end. It is somewhat confusing that many historical stories set near London that include references to Whitehall, spell it as one word. However, throughout this story, it is referred to as White Hall. It is also somewhat improbable that a woman would be given the training to be a physician in the early 1800’s. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining story that will intrigue readers who enjoy books featuring strong protagonists.

Carey Sullivan