5 October 2012

Review: A Lady in the Making by Susan Page Davis

Millie Evans has decided to leave her wayward half-brother to his life of crime, and boards the stagecoach to Salt Lake City in search of an honest life. Much to her surprise, one of her fellow passengers is David Stone, who knew her as a thief named Charlotte Evans. Millie has been reading the Bible she stole from David, and how is a changed woman. But will David see that and learn to trust her?

Back in England, Merrileigh Stone has ambitions to be a Countess and the mother of an Earl. But for that to happen, David Stone will have to meet an unfortunate demise, and she hopes that this plan will be more successful than her last. She enlists the assistance of her gambling brother, Peregrin Walmore, to ‘assist’ her in achieving her ambition, and this adds an element of suspense to the plot.

I often read American contemporary fiction where one person chooses to ride 'shotgun': that is, in the front passenger seat, but the origin of the phrase was beyond me. A Lady in the Making solved the puzzle: a shotgun rider sat in the front seat of the stagecoach, to deter potential robbers and outlaws. See, you can learn something new reading Christian fiction!

A Lady in the Making is an enjoyable historical novel, but there were some negatives. I found there was a distinct lack of romantic tension, especially compared with some of Davis’ previous books (Frasier Island remains my personal favourite). There were a few annoying examples where the English characters used Americanisms in their speech (e.g. using fall instead of autumn), and I thought the ending was quite abrupt. Overall, this was a good story, but by no means the best Susan Page Davis has written.

A Lady in the Making is the third book in the Prairie Dreams series by Susan Page Davis, following The Lady's Maid and Lady Anne's Questt (both previously reviewed). Although part of a series, this can easily be read as a standalone novel, as the couples from the previous novels are only mentioned in passing.

Thanks to Barbour and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can read more about Susan Page Davis on her website.

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