24 June 2014

Review: After the Winter by Buffy Greentree

Lovely Twenties Romance

Lucinda Hargraves has recently lost her mother, and has travelled to Piediluco, Italy, to summer with Mrs Goodall, a family friend who believes she needs some relaxation after the strain of nursing her mother.

There is an eternal appeal to the story of the reformed rake, but After The Winter brings a unique Christian spin to the trope. Their initial meeting is unique, and causes Lucinda to take an instant dislike to Lord Everdale. He’s a flirt, and even if she wasn’t past the marrying age (at twenty-seven), she values herself too highly to fall for a man like that, a man with women hanging all over him. The American visiting Piediluco, John Huntingdon the Third, is a much more appropriate companion. After all, he thinks exactly as he ought (which sounds like something Lizzie Bennett would say, except it sounded a lot more admirable from Lizzie).

Lord George Everdale is an enigma. He is titled, polite (apart from his first introduction to Lucinda), wealthy (he owns a Bugatti, and I’m sure they were just as exclusive in the 1920’s as they are now), and he’s intelligent, as evidenced by his witty banter. We learn more about him as the story progresses, and gradually see his true character emerge, the one he keeps hidden behind the women and the wit.

Lucinda is equally interesting as a character. She knows there is no future for her and George, but can’t help liking him, even though she doesn’t believe most of what he says. But he’s an exceptional dancer, a pleasant companion, and she gradually uncovers the layers he has hidden. It’s not explicit, but Lucinda is a Christian (as opposed to merely being a churchgoer), and her underlying values guide her.

The first three-quarters of After The Winter are fully of gaity and witty banter, but it’s the last quarter where the writing goes from strength to strength. While the banter is still present, there is an underlying melancholy in many of the scenes as we find out more about the characters. It’s a romance, but I did start to wonder if Lucinda was going to get her happy-ever-after.

There were some editing glitches (typos and run-on sentences), but nothing that detracted from the story. Overall, a lovely story and I’ll look forward to reading more fiction from Buffy Greentree.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

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