Saturday, February 25, 2006

Review: Valentine's Change of Heart

Written by Elisabeth Fairchild and published by Signet in 2003, this is one of a handful of historical romances I've read that treat alcoholism & its aftermath seriously. It isn't dark or heavy, but makes clear the far reaching implications of alcohol abuse and its aftermath.

Valentine Wharton, ex soldier, ex partier & newly sober has taken his nine year old daughter out of school for a trip to the shore in Wales. Accompanying them is one Elaine Deering, young Miss Felicity's favorite governess. Valentine's horrible, rakehell reputation precedes him, making Miss Deering reluctant to accompany them. Circumstances intercede and she accepts his offer of a permanent position.

Despite being a short form Regency, Ms. Fairchild thoroughly explores many of the painful ripples that spread outward for a long & far reaching time even after the alcoholic stops drinking. Ms. Deering is not portrayed as the merciful, perfect, faultless angel rescuing Valentine (thank God). She is flawed & frail just like the rest of us. Valentine struggles with sobriety, with becoming a father for the first time & against the wishes of his friends and family.

Definitely a keeper.

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1 comment:

Anne E. said...

You have recommended several books recently that I have enjoyed, including "The Mystery Kiss." I blogged about the cover art on that book today on my blog. This book sounds very interesting and I am off to amazon to check out the secondary sellers -- they must be building a shrine to me!!