The Lady in the Moneylender’s Parlour (Allen Abbey Romances Book 2)

Rosanne E. Lortz

HISTORICAL: Captain William Allen is back from the war and has lost not only his left hand and nearly everything else. William is starving, so he decides to go to the moneylenders. William meets Miss Margaret Blackburn there, and she also needs money. William can’t help asking Margaret what she was doing there. She tells him she needs to borrow money in order to publish her book yet fears there isn’t enough time, since her mother plans to leave London, taking Margaret with her. Desparate, Margaret asks William if he will pretend to be her suitor which would induce her mother to keep her in London. William agrees to the plan and unwittingly falls for Margaret. However, the road to true love has many obstacles and William will lose Margaret unless he can avoid his past.

This is a moving historical novella with an appealing story! Despite some moroseness and horrendous depictions of soldiers who lose limbs, readers are shown the survivors’ will to live. The book is definitely not a lighthearted Regency, especially being after a war. So, readers expecting a fun, humorous story won’t find it here. Though it would have been nice to have a bit more backstory for some of the characters, the tale manages to feel full and complete. William, despite his missing hand, manages to be a decent guy even with his shortcomings. The sensible, smart Margaret is way too good for William, so having them together feels like something of a stretch. Still, the book manages to be engaging and captivating, making for an interesting read!

Roslynn Ernst