Friday, April 10, 2015

To Save a Lady by Patricia Preston

A move from Paris to New Orleans brings disaster to Elise Plaisance’s predictable life as a lady’s maid. The son of her grief-stricken mistress disappears, and Elise becomes involved in a web of deceit when she turns to a cunning gentleman for help finding the missing boy. 

Captain Jesse Cross has journeyed to New Orleans with General Jackson’s army, but his biggest battle is one of the heart when he falls for a French girl cloaked in mystery. With the city on the brink of war, their romance is born in the darkness of a moonlit courtyard and never meant to last forever. 

Deceived by an adversary and haunted by her tragic past, Elise must risk everything to rescue her mistress’s son before all is lost, and Jesse knows he has to stop her even if it means sacrificing his life to save a lady. 

To Save A Lady is a mainstream historical romance novel set in New Orleans in 1814. Contains occasional strong language and sensuality rating: warm. 

Published & Release Date: River Oaks Press, November 2, 2014

Time and setting: 1814, New Orleans, Louisiana

Genre: Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flames

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Vikki’s Musings

When Romantic Historical Reviews sent out the review request for To Save a Lady, the book description sounded it very interesting, and I accept the book. I am so glad I did. I have always enjoyed stories set in New Orleans, ever since I was a teenager. My mother had a large collection of American historicals, many written by Frank Yerby. Quite few of them were set in Louisiana, and truthfully a bit risqué for me, but I would sneak them to my room late at night without my mother’s permission. Needless to say, I have fond memories of reading those books. To Save a Lady is an outstanding book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Elise Plaisance is a young lady’s maid to Madame, a woman who saved her from a horrific experience when she was ten years old. She will do anything for Madame, even if it means staying in New Orleans on the eve of a great battle. Madame’s fourteen-year-old son has run away, and Madame has already lost two children and her husband. Elise greatly fears that her mistress will grief herself to death, so she leaves the plantation and comes to the city to look for the boy.

Captain Jesse Cross is part of General Jackson’s staff and has arrived in New Orleans to defend the city against a British attack. When walking down a street in the French Quarter, he senses someone following him. He wheels around and grabs the cloaked figure and to his astonishment, he discovers it is a woman. He is further astounded when the masked young woman tells him she is his liaison between certain individuals, desiring to help his general defeat the British.

They make arrangements to meet in a courtyard on the Rue d’Orleans to pass information. If either of them have information they must tie a red ribbon on the carriageway gate as a signal to meet at midnight. During these brief encounters, Jesse is enthralled by the mysterious Rose and aches to see her face. When she finally unveils herself, telling him about her mission, he loses his heart, even though he believes he can never claim her as his own.

Can Jesse protect Elise from harm, even against her own reckless behavior as she attempts to save her mistress’s young boy, or will he lose her forever?

Ms. Preston has written an emotionally-charged story with unforgettable characters. Elise is an incredibly brave and loyal young woman willing to face any danger to find Madame’s young son, even if it means spying for a greedy creole gentleman. She is fearless and determined and never allows herself to be deterred from her goal. Preston is a true master in clearly revealing the goal, motivation and conflict for her heroine.

Her hero is a chief, willing to endanger his life ‘to save a lady’. He is a true leader of men and as fearless and honorable as Elise. His only fault is his domineering attitude as he attempts to protect Elise from harm. I love a well-written chief archetype, and in To Save a Lady, Ms. Preston gives me a chief I can love.

The plot is well-drawn out and the characters are given many facets to their personality. This book grabbed me from the first page and held me in its thrall to the very end. The tale is steeped in historical details, bringing to life what it must have been like in the days leading up to the Battle of New Orleans.  

The passion between Elise and Jesse is so sensual and deeply emotional. While there is explicit language and descriptions used, it is the underlying feelings that carry the scenes. Ms. Preston’s writing brought me up close and personal with the hero and heroine and had me waiting holding mt breath to see how they could ever find their ‘happily ever after’. I highly recommend To Save a Lady. I believe you will find it an unforgettable tale of love and sacrifice. One that you will want to read more than once.  Happy reading!


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