by Lisa Manuel

May 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7649-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Widowed Eliza Kent is on her last leg of hope and hunger when a tragic accident brings her a new opportunity. Suddenly, the woman who was about to knock on deathís door is able to become Elizabeth Mendoza, a lady of quality who wants for nothing.

When Scottish farmer Dylan Fergusson comes across Elizabeth stranded in the middle of nowhere, he is actually on his way away from England and headed towards his home. He has had enough of England and its snobbery and its deceitful women. He canít fit in England and knows he never will because he has never pretended to be anything other than what he is despite his sisterís marriage to the Duke of Wakefield.

At first sight, Dylan is attracted to Elizabeth. She touches him as no woman ever has and makes him forget the past and long for the future. But Elizabeth does things that no women of quality would do, especially a woman widowed so soon, and soon tongues began to wag and Dylan cannot help but doubt his newfound happiness.

Eliza will learn that sometimes trading shoes with another person is not the best solution to a problem. The escape she discovered may end up costing her not only the love of a lifetime but also her life.

Mostly A Lady is the third Mostly historical romance by talented author Lisa Manuel. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessors, this story does not accurately express Manuelís remarkable writing skill.

This reviewer did not find Eliza to be a likeable protagonist. It was very hard to identify with a character who stole a dead womanís identity. Even while Eliza was claiming to abhor her own behavior, she still continued for quite a bit with her tale.

Although Dylan wasnít nearly as unattractive as a character, he still left a lot to be desired as a leading man. For a man in love, he really abandoned Eliza when she needed him most, even after striking out at his own family because of her.

What saves this tale are the characters who come in from the other Mostly novels. Even with the mystery surrounding the real Elizabeth engulfing their happiness, Dylan and Eliza are not compelling enough to have their own stories. Even their passionate scenes of intimacy seem misplaced in the story. Without the addition of the other characters, this story would fail miserably. It is because of them, that Mostly A Lady somehow manages to be mostly enjoyable.

Reviewed in August 2005 by Natasha.

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