Cornwall, in the days of King George. A wounded colonel has come home from the ongoing wars with Napoleon's armies to try and breathe some life into his dilapidated inheritance. But on the night in question, smugglers are abroad, led by a spry bold young lad... And so begins 'Smuggler's Lady', what should be another great romantic adventure from Jane Feather's pen.
The ingredients are all there (though you can probably guess who the bold young lad is!). But for some reason, this book just didn't do it for me at all. In fact, I couldn't even read it all the way through, it was just not working. Why?
Well, for me, the hero Lord Rutherford was too rude to others and in particular, the heroine, Meredith Trelawney. She in her turn was just a bit annoying, too, with her so-called simpering and affected shyness around people who have been her neighbours for years, and the only one who notices her giveaway sparks of anger and vitality is of course the guy who's just arrived in the community. No matter that she's supposed to have been married and widowed, and led the locals in all things fashionable etc before the death of her husband and their fortune, nobody else seems to have a clue (apart from the faithful servants, of course) that it's all an act and she's the gang leader of a group of local smugglers.
There's also the inclusion of three brothers, of whom she's solely responsible for, who are all really quite irritating as well! One, the typical enthusiastic but loveable chatterbox, another supposed to be 'prosy' and the third, one brother too many!
And there's none of Feather's usual flowing prose, either, so it's really hard to get into in the first place then for me, impossible to finish.
I was really disappointed, as I usually love this lady's stories. Oh, well. Better luck next time...