Saturday, December 14, 2013

Carla Kelly - The Surgeon's Lady

As a surgeon in the Royal Navy, Lieutenant Philemon Brittle has proved his bravery countless times. But he's never known the thrill that comes with falling in love. Until he meets the beautiful Lady Laura Taunton, who has turned to nursing the wounded as solace from her unhappy past.Philemon will need to draw upon every bit of his strength and determination to convince the marriage-shy Laura that establishing a life together is the truest path to love and happiness...

Comment: Since I've read my first book by this author, Marrying the Captain, I've immediately saw this is an author whose work I feel I'll appreciate quite a lot, mainly because her heroines are very in tune with what I like in a heroine. Since then I've tried to get more books by her, namely the rest of the series. This is why I picked this book now.

This is the story of widow Laura Taunton. She's a sister to the heroine from the other book and took care of her husband for a long time before he died. She had no tender feelings for him, so after finding her courage, she visited her sister at last. She also met Lt Brittle, someone we've know from the previous book too and casually he asks if she wants to work for him at the naval hospital where he works as a surgeon. Amazingly, Laura says yes and a journey for the both of them starts with many little adventures on the way...

I liked this story a lot! I think it's really special how the author can write about a romance, a tender and modest one, but still very romantic on its own way, and inserting it in a story that feels real, feels well done and solid. This isn't a silly historical or a sensual one where everything besides how fast the main couple has sex is just decorative. Although those novels can be worthy in their own level, this isn't like that. This is a strong story featuring many details from those days but from a romantic point of view.
The story shows the reader  how men would recover after accidents, diseases or other medical problems and how the surgeons dealt with those challenges in a time without many comfort or easiness. Surgeons didn't have the facilities and the medicines to best treat their patients and many times they had to be creative. I liked how this book focused so much on that side of war, of medicine and how Lt Brittle was a character highlighted to show that side that many times isn't much detailed in romances. I really liked all those things, and how both Brittle and Laura had to find a way to make things work in a job that doesn't always end the way we'd like to.

The romance was so cute and sweet. I think something rushed would go against the feel of the story, the way both protagonists were wired. I found their romance wonderful and with the prefect slow pace in those cases where the heroine just puts aside her fears and gets it on. People don't work that way and I thought the slow take on this to be believable.

Both main characters were interesting and we could see their good and worse moments. Nobody is perfect but in this case even the not so good things had a reason and were presented in a way that allowed the reader to weight everything. I thought Laura was convincing and very nice. She was a bit shy and had things she wanted to keep for herself but she found love without expecting and I love those situations.
Lt Brittle is a good man, his attitude towards Laura was respectful but he also demanded action from her, he asked for her help and expected it, he didn't make excuses for her apart from the usual ones in those cases at the time. considering the woman's role in society then. His character is wonderful, he should be real.
The secondary characters didn't get in the way, didn't steal the show and offered the help needed to better present the romance and the storyline.

I thin this author is very talented and her stories (at least these two I've read) show not only a good story, very well structured, but also a good feel, I have the feeling she thought about how to make things work the best and she did it. It's a nice feeling.
I can't wait to read more by her.
Grade: 8/10

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