Lady Flora's Rescue*
Long, Inappropriate Historical Romance
Lady Flora and Bear Hug (and also known as Pearce Longleigh), who is the half Native American son of a duke, meet as children when the duke brings the young boy back from America after his mother’s death. Lady Flora is intrigued by the young man and asks him a lot of questions. They meet again later as adults after she’s been widowed after a very brief marriage. Their fathers plan a trip to the United States in the hopes of adding to their fortunes, and Lady Flora wants to join them because she’s always wanted to have adventures and see more of the world. The book then goes on to detail their adventures in the United States. Pearce and Lady Flora marry and live with his mother’s people.
This was an intriguing concept for a book. I read a lot of Regency and Georgian romance, but I don’t think any has had a viscount who was part Native American. Certainly, I’ve never seen any that follows a couple to just barely post Revolutionary War America.
I wanted to like this book as the concept was so fascinating, but to my mind, it was poorly done. I hardly know where to start with what I found troubling. The first time I was alarmed was early on when the character kept using disparaging terms to describe Pearce/Bear Hug. My guess is that the author wanted to reflect what she believed English people would have called Native Americans, but it is still hard to read the constant derogatory terms. She also has him use a form of overly simplified English early on, which also seemed offensive to me. Then, we saw Pearce briefly in his first days at Eton. In relatively quick fashion, we saw both a brutal beating and homosexual activity; neither was handled sensitively; it felt as if they were here for shock value.
I also had issues with the language beyond the derogatory terms. The dialogue was stiff and unnatural at times and just inappropriate at others. The language of the narrative prose portion was not much better. Having just read a different and quite lyrical piece of historical fiction, I found this one clunky and somewhat crude in its descriptions of places and events. I didn’t find it a pleasant read for all these aspects. It is a rather long book as well, and I think it could have used some tightening.