Review: Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll

Friday, May 25

Title: Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid*
Author: Maureen Driscoll
Series: Kellington #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Format: E-Book
Date/Year:  May 2011
Reviewed by:Andrea

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Caught behind enemy lines at the Battle of Waterloo, nurse Jane Wetherby is forced to seek shelter with British operative Lord Edward Kellington. After a night of passion, the two are separated. With nothing but the alias Jane used to protect her family, Lord Edward is unable to find the woman he cannot forget.

Seven years later, Jane courts scandal by serving as the unofficial surgeon in the village of Marston Vale. When Edward arrives to formalize his betrothal to the daughter of a viscount in accordance with his late father's wishes, Jane has no choice but to watch the match proceed. When a threat from the past emerges, Jane must join forces with Edward to safeguard her loved ones. But at what risk to her heart?

My Musings:

I usually love to take a chance and read unfamiliar authors, some of my favorite books were discovered by doing just that.  Unfortunately, I also run the risk of reading less than stellar books too.  The last 4 or 5 books I’ve read fell into the latter category.  I was reluctant to pick up a book by an unfamiliar author because of this.  I’m very happy to say that the streak has been broken, I found a good book by a new to me author :)

I knew about 10 pages in that I was going to like this book.  It was obvious right away that Ms. Driscoll wasn’t going to give me a cookie-cutter historical romance novel.  She was giving me unusual characters and a storyline I rarely see.  The best part, she was going to do it well.  It began with Jane Wetherby.  Jane deceived her grandfather and traveled to the war front to further her education as a surgeon.  You can picture me doing a little happy dance here because I adore well written female healers in historical novels.  Jane fits so nicely into that category.  Jane is smart, independent and strong.  She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do with her life.  Jane may be a fallen woman, she may also be ostracized from polite society, but she is proud of her accomplishments and refuses to let anyone harm her daughter because of Jane’s past.

Lord Edward Kellington defended and saved Jane when she was caught by the enemy during the war.  They shared one night of passion and then she disappeared.  Edward finds her again 7 years later while on his way to get engaged to another woman.  Edward knew they shared something special that night and spent years searching for Jane.  He’s not about to let her slip through his fingers again.  Edward had no idea how much opposition he was going to receive.  In order to get her back he will have to battle their enemies, their families and even Jane herself.

All the characters in this book were incredibly well developed.  I expect to know and love the main couple when I read romance books.  I was pleasantly surprised to get a full cast of characters with a wide range of personalities and their own fascinating stories.  Edward has 3 brothers and one sister and they all step up to show their support.  There are also a couple special investigators brought into the picture.  They come from very different backgrounds and quickly integrate into the family.  A close family friend comes to the rescue at a crucial time (I have a feeling she’ll be important later in the series).  The characters form an interesting and eclectic group.  They reminded me of the Hathaway family written by Lisa Kleypas.  I love the Hathaways and I can see myself getting wrapped up in the lives of the Kellingtons too.

I did have a few issues with the book.  Toward the end the pace slowed down too much and the story grew predictable.  Then, the conclusion happened too quickly.  I could have used a couple more pages of Edward and Jane’s thoughts and emotions to help me process the dramatic events.  The epilogue did give me a better sense of closure and answered a few lingering questions but it didn’t have the same feel as the rest of the story.  The way it was written felt very detached after the warmth I had come to expect during the novel. 

Even though I did have a few problems with the book, I can forgive them because the characters are so well done.  This series has so much potential and I’m excited to see where it will go.  I will be eagerly waiting for the next book in the series.


Overall:  3.75
Sensuality level:  3.00

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lorimeehan May 25, 2012 at 6:47 AM  

I love Lisa Kleypas's Hathaway's. That was a great series. I will be looking this book up since you said that it had the feeling of the Hathaway's. Thanks.

Michelle Chew May 26, 2012 at 12:44 AM  

This looks like that book I'll like! *jumps in excitement* And it's historical romance! Is it not?I'm have a soft spot for historical romance. Missing for 7 years? I think it's kind of sweet that Edward spent time trying to find Jane.


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