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Her Lady's Honor by Renée Dahlia


⭐⭐⭐☆★

The Great War has just ended and Lady Eleanor St. George (Nell), who served as a vet in Somme, has been tasked by her boss, Captain Hughes, to return his horse, Tommy to the Hughes homestead. When Nell arrives at the Captain’s farm in Wales, she is struck by the lady she thinks is the servant. Beatrice Hughes, eldest daughter of the captain, may be the daughter of the house and also the person who actually keeps everything running, but her life is equivalent to an indentured servant.

Nell and Beatrice both know that marriage is not for them because their interests lie elsewhere. And their interest is piqued by the other. Attraction between them flares.

There is so much to like in this book and particularly in the relationship between Nell and Beatrice. Both the ladies are written with complexity and depth. The differences in their thoughts and personalities due to their respective socio-economic backgrounds are well-thought out and very well written. It is gratifying to read the acknowledgement and the appreciation each one has for who the other. The appreciation for each other is particularly notable because this is what really leads to successful relationships.

Nell and Beatrice are both strong and vulnerable in their own ways. In ways that the other person can fill perfectly. They have their own strengths and weaknesses – strengths which lets them be strong when the other is out of their element and weaknesses that make the relationship stronger because their partner can take care of them. It is beautiful to see that.

Nell has a wider character arc in terms of an expansion in her horizon of realities of the less entitled folk. Her efforts to get justice done for Beatrice, to enable Beatrice’s freedom of choice, empower Beatrice to have agency over her own life – even at the cost of putting herself (Nell) in danger was everything that love should be.

The reality of the place and state of women during that time period is starkly drawn. Our heart was crying at the struggles women have faced for so long for just for being born a woman. And when we thought about the fact that a lot of women in a lot of countries are still struggling with the same issues (personified in Captain Hughes’ behaviour with his wife and Beatrice) our heart physically hurt. That made it difficult reading for us, but the latter half of the book (with less of Captain Hughes) became easier. By the end, we rejoiced the successful trickery.

Nett, nett, we enjoyed this one. 

⭐⭐⭐☆★

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