When Juliana Milford first encounters Captain Harry Fanton, she finds him arrogant and rude. There’s no way she’ll fall for his dazzling smile! Her visit to Chadcombe House was always going to prompt questions over her scandalous family, so she’s touched when Harry defends her reputation. She’s discovering there’s more to Harry than she’d first thought…
A man so plagued by the demons of war, he’s sworn he’ll never marry, no matter how tempted…
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The Captain’s Disgraced Lady (The Chadcombe Marriages)
Juliana Milford and her mother are traveling from their home in Brussels, to visit Juliana’s dear friend, Charlotte, in England. Mrs. Milford, a nervous and frail woman, did not fare well on the journey, and now Julianna has them resting in the private parlor of an inn. Shortly after, two soldiers arrive at the same inn, and request to use the parlor. Upon being informed that it was in use, Captain Harry Fanton is sure that the ladies won’t mind sharing, so he knocks and enters. Although he plies his usual charm, Julianna wants no part of their company. She is unbelievably rude to them and orders them to leave. Only at the insistence of Mrs Milford do they stay, albeit uncomfortably.
As fate would have it, Captain Harry Fanton is the brother-in-law of Julianna’s friend, Charlotte, and they meet again. Initially Juliana holds on to her anger, but she slowly comes to see that Harry is really charming and good company. As for Harry, rather than being put off by Juliana’s feisty behavior, he is drawn to her. In fact, he’s so attracted to her, that he would pursue courting her if he weren’t determined never to marry. There is an incident in Harry’s past, which has left him feeling that he’s a coward and flawed and unworthy to ever take a bride.
Juliana’s mother has always been evasive about her husband, Juliana’s father. Other than saying he died as a soldier, she becomes agitated and distraught when questioned further. Soon, rumors begin to circulate that Juliana is illegitimate. Mrs. Milford insists on returning to Brussels, and shortly thereafter, the historic battle of Waterloo takes place, a mere nine miles away. Harry was also ordered back to active duty, and took part in the famous and bloody fight.
I admit to not liking Juliana at all in the beginning. Rather than strong, I simply found her rude and overbearing. Then I began to see how she really had to take charge of things, due to her mother’s inability to do so. Her growth over the course of the book caused me to change my opinion, and her heroic actions while dealing with the wounded after the battle led me to admire and like her.
Harry is the type of hero you can’t help but like. Still, beneath the face he presented to the world, he was truly tortured by his past. Author Catherine Tinley found a unique way for him to finally come to terms with the incident that kept him from moving on with his life and grabbing his own happiness. He also showed the measure of his character by not caring if Juliana was illegitimate.
THE CAPTAIN’S DISGRACED LADY had another twist at the end, one that I enjoyed immensely! A sweet and warm romance with a well deserved happy ever after made for a most satisfying read. ~Rose