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December 10

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Review: The Lady Flees Her Lord by Michele Ann Young

by Ann-Katrina

The Lady Flees Her Lord Cover

Back Cover of The Lady Flees Her Lord

She’s desperate for peace and safety…

Lucinda, Lady Denbigh, is running from a husband who physically and emotionally abuses her because she is unfashionably plump and has failed to produce an heir. Posing as a widow, she seeks refuge in the quiet countryside…

He’s returned from the wars, wounded and tormented…

Lord Hugo Wanstead, with a wound that won’t heal, and his mother’s and Spanish wife’s deaths on his conscience, finds his estate impoverished, his sleep torn by nightmares, and brand his only solace. When he meets Lucinda, he finds her beautiful—body and soul—and thinks she just might give him something to live for…

Together they can begin to heal, but not until she is free from her violent past…

Three Quick Points About The Lady Flees Her Lord

  • Point 1: The descriptions were lush and beautiful. I felt as though I were in the 19th century countryside along with them and experiencing everything they were experiencing.
  • Point 2: There were huge flaws in the character development. Lucinda (Lady Denbigh) is an intelligent and strong-willed woman who somehow manages not to do the first thing most intelligent and strong-willed women would do after fleeing Lord Denbigh and it rang false. Hugo has the weakest “fear” that rang even more false than Lucinda’s actions.
  • Point 3: This book was written and edited in stages. As I was reading, I’d go through long stretches without a single noticeable grammatical or spelling error, then I’d come to a patch where there was literally one every other page. It was quite easy to figure out which sections were done at different times.

Full Review of The Lady Flees Her Lord

Before reading the full review, please note that there may be some spoilers. I tried to keep it vague enough not to spoil the entire story, but be warned. If you’d rather not take any chances, skip the synopsis and go straight to the final thoughts.

The Lady Flees Her Lord Synopsis

The Lady Flees Her Lord, set in 19th century England starts in London and then shifts to the countryside, when Lucinda (Lady Denbigh) escapes from her physically and emotionally abusive husband before she’s made into a prostitute at a party.

While waiting for transportation, a child is abandoned in her care. After some thought, she realizes that Lord Denbigh would likely be looking for a woman traveling alone and decides to keep the child.

Before long, she finds herself leasing a home on Lord Wanstead’s property. When he returns from the war, he’s a grumpy man laden with guilt (to put it mildly), but he’s instantly attracted to Lucinda’s strong carriage. Since he doesn’t want to find himself involved with another woman, he does everything he can to have her removed from his property. Unfortunately, his affairs and finances are in such disarray that kicking her out, along with her money, is not an option.

Lucinda, having become a fixture in the community, begins to help Wanstead turn his finances and estate around by reorganizing his books and even volunteering to help put together a fete. Over time, as the two get to know each other better, their attraction to each other increases until they end up enjoying spicy carnal pleasures with one another.

And since bliss rarely lasts forever, theirs comes to an abrupt end when Wanstead inadvertently finds out Lucinda’s secret. Since Wanstead had a wound on his thigh that refused to heal, he needed to make a trip to a surgeon in London to have it looked after. While gambling, he sees Lucinda’s painting and finds out that she’s the runaway Lady Denbigh. Knowing that Lord Denbigh is searching for her, Wanstead sends Lucinda away and as she’s trying to get her affairs in order to flee, Denbigh finds her.

After some interesting altercation, and the Denbigh situation solved, Lucinda shares with Wanstead that she is with child. That’s when his painful secret comes out into the open and Lucinda is faced with a difficult decision.

Final Thoughts On The Lady Flees Her Lord

The Lady Flees Her Lord started out smoothly. It starts out with Lucinda trying to flee her home and being thwarted only to find that she needs to leave right away and needing to come up with a spur of the moment plan.

During the set up, we’re shown what type of woman Lucinda is and that’s a strong-willed woman who is a little self-conscious because of the continued verbal and physical abuse issued by her husband, Lord Denbigh.

The descriptions were lush; it rendered the scene so clearly that you could almost feel the grass between your toes and the cool country air blowing across your face.

No, the descriptions and prose are not what I had a problem with at all. My gripes arose due to ponderous character flaws in the two main characters.

Lucinda admittedly came from a happy, healthy family who loved and cared about her. Yet, when she fled Denbigh, she didn’t try to get in contact with them. The question kept nagging at me: Why not? Based on the information given, they would certainly have helped her had she gone to them, and Lucinda is not a weak-willed or stupid woman. She’s painted as a strong woman who can hold her own in games of skill and strategy. Aside from this, her character was well developed. I liked her, but I would have liked her more if she had tried to contact her family. (It would have been more plausible had she tried to contact her family and failed.)

Hugo (who may have been Hugh at some point—at least according to the Freudian slip made on page 216), having returned from the war was feeling incredibly guilty about the deaths of his mother and his Spanish wife. Constantly he’s talking about how guilty and bad he feels. The first couple of times he eluded to it, it sparked curiosity, but as it continued on it became annoying. At one point (about 200 pages in), I actually opened my mouth and told him to either spill the beans or shut up about his having “killed” these two woman (not to sound insensitive or anything). Then, when his big secret is revealed, I truly wanted to fling the book against the wall. Rather than beat up an otherwise good book, I decided to roll my eyes and sigh instead.

Barring those two transgressions, the book was a quick and entertaining read. The language and prose are delightful and it’s definitely a nice way to pass the time while sipping on a glass of wine and enjoying some chocolate delights. (As the dedication implies.)

Completely random: It’s obvious from reading the book that the gentleman on the cover is not Wanstead. How do I know this? In the book, Wanstead has a lot more chest hair goin’ on. ;)

Rating: Get it used (?) 3.5/5 stars

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Comments on Review: The Lady Flees Her Lord by Michele Ann Young

  1. # 2008 in Books, or the Ten Books I’m Glad I Read This Year - Today, I Read… wrote on December 31, 2008 at 5:35 pm:

    [...] The Lady Flees Her Lord by Michele Ann Young (review) [...]

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