The Wicked Waif


Major Dominic “Dove” Doverton rows out on the choppy waters of a stormy sea to rescue sailors from a sinking ship. Hearing screams from a wooden box, he hauls it aboard his tiny boat and forces it open to find a shivering, half-drowned waif. Once taken to the vicarage, the girl is frightened, but finds solace in holding Dove’s hands. They learn she has no memory, but the name “Tillie” comes to her mind. Judging from her dress, she comes from money. The ship’s crew has no idea how she got on board. Tillie starts life over, living in the vicarage, looking forward to Dove’s daily visits. After some time, Matthew Dawlish and his son, Luke make an appearance in Blackhaven claiming that he is Tillie’s uncle/guardian and that Luke is her husband. This is a horrible shock for Tillie, for she and Dove are in love. How can they refute Luke’s claims so they may wed?

“The Wicked Waif” is filled with action from the first page. One can see the sailors bobbing on the angry ocean, waiting to be rescued. Tillie shows considerable growth during the course of the story. She starts as a terrified waif, barely alive, and becomes a confident young woman who knows her mind. The secondary and tertiary characters add much to the texture of the story, although there are numerous characters in the background that have no depth, just a name. Ms. Lancaster is a master at making her main characters come to life with compelling personalities. She paints brilliant pictures with her words, making readers want to jump inside and join the story!

Belinda Wilson