by Lynn Collum

August 2002
ISBN: 0-8217-7290-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Miss Whiting and the Seven Wards has reconciled me to regency romance. The story is based (of course) on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the characters are true to their fairy tale counterparts. But Lynn Collum has put a Regency twist on the old story, and it comes alive once again.

Sarah Whiting must leave Miss Parson's academy and go to her home. She dreads going back; her father is dead and her stepmother has no love for her. As a matter of fact, her stepmother wants to kill her! Sarah is too beautiful and too rich for the wicked stepmother, who believes that by getting rid of her she will inherit Sarah's fortune. She easily convinces her henchman Barlow to kill the young girl.

Barlow tosses her into a flooded river, and a floating log saves Sarah. She comes ashore and a young lad finds her and takes her to his cottage.

The young lad is one of seven brothers, ages twelve to three, living in a lovely cottage. They have a dreadful problem though, their mother is dead.

The story goes on from there, and there is a handsome prince, of course; in this case it is Sir Evan Beaumont.

He has been asked to find out more about the mysterious Mrs. Ward and her seven children. Little does anyone realize the real Mrs. Ward is dead. Only Barlow finds out the truth one day when he sees Sarah in the village. In shock, he tells the wicked stepmother that Sarah is still alive.

The story is charming and the characters are likeable. I enjoyed this book, and look forward to more by the talented Lynn Collum.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Jennifer.

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