Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid is the story of a highly principled young woman who lived with the consequences of her decisions. This sounds like a harsh statement, or a judgement and I don’t mean it in that fashion at all. I actually mean it as a compliment! Jane Wetherby is caught by the enemy behind their lines at the Battle of Waterloo and the injured Lord Edward Kellington saves her. When he collapses, she drags him to safety, takes the bullet out of him, stitches him up and essentially saves his life. Before the get back to civilization, they make love. This has lasting implications for them both. Jane gets pregnant and once she returns home has to suffer her grandfather’s wrath is subsequently banished with very little income from her inheritance to keep body and soul together. She supplements this income by serving as the surgeon for the poor in the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, Edward spent years looking for Jane, whom he finds out gave him a false name. The war is now over and he is at home with his family. His brother is pressuring him to settle down and so he goes to visit the family of the woman everyone assumes he will marry. Imagine his surprise to discover Jane in the wilds of Bedfordshire when he goes to visit his potential fiancee!
This is an excellently written story. The two main characters are outstanding! I absolutely love the character of Jane. It is impossible for a woman in that era to be anything other than a caregiver. She will really never be recognized for her medical skills, but she manages to get herself involved in helping the wounded during the war, and she serves the poor of her neighborhood, who would potentially go without medical help as they can’t pay for it. She has her daughter and keeps her rather than giving her away and accepts her banishment and the abuse from her grandfather.
Edward is an upstanding member of the nobility. It is interesting to read about his family and the colorful members that I’m sure we will meet soon! He tries for years to find the woman that he only offered a position of mistress to and is astounded when he discovers her so many years later. He is determined that she not disappear this time and works hard to fit his life around hers.
I was introduced to this author through Barnes & Noble Publit event in August. Being a huge fan of Historical Romance, this book looked like something that I would like. I am now working on her second book and learning about another member of the Kellington family. I am amazed that I haven’t heard about Maureen before now, but I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this book and experience her view of the lives of Edward and Jane. Get yourself a latte and a comfy chair and relax and enjoy an excellent story!