A Fallen Woman is the third installment in Ms. Bolen’s Brides of Bath series.
Since the death of her husband in the Peninsula, Carlotta Ennis has looked for someone wealthy to marry. She settled in Bath because it offered her a good choice in men, as they flock there to take in the nourishing waters and vacation. Instead of catching someone who would take care of her and give her everything she needed, she made the mistake of falling in love with a rake who was willing to use her body but not marry her. Now, she has been thoroughly compromised and stands little chance of catching a wealthy gentleman.
James Rutledge has returned from war to find himself being made the Earl of Rutledge, after the death of his uncle. During the war, Carlotta’s husband gave his life to save James, and James now vows to try and make amends with Carlotta by offering his hand in marriage and protection. And when he finds that she has virtually given up her son in the process of catching a wealthy gentleman, he becomes very adamant in his pursuits.
At first Carlotta is very suspicious of this handsome man who has walked into her life claiming to want to save her, even if from herself. Can she learn to trust any man again, after being burned by her former lover? What of her son? Will James want him too? She’d been a terrible mother, handing him off to her relatives when he was still a baby, so that she could find another husband and continue on with her life. What if James found out about her past, that she was a fallen woman, will he still want her?
All in all, this was a fairly good story. It lacked the excitement that the first two had. The plot is slow moving and more than once I had to put down the book because it was boring. The characters were not very developed, leaving the reader wondering more about their past. I was a little disappointed in this story, having loved the second book in the series, but I’m still looking forward to reading more of Ms. Bolen’s books.