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The Lady Flees Her Lord    by Michele Ann Young order for
Lady Flees Her Lord
by Michele Ann Young
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

The day Lucinda Palgrave's abusive husband suggests she entertain some of his weekend friends is the day she decides she's had enough of the cruel and selfish Duke of Denbigh. How foolish she had been to ever believe his claims of love. Clearly, he only had designs on her generous inheritance to pay off his massive gambling debts. With only her meagre personal funds in hand, Lucinda walks away from her life as a Countess and retires to a tiny cottage on the rambling and run down country estate of Lord Hugo Wanstead. It is here, she decides, that she will live a modest life as a widow and raise the child she'd saved from the London slums.

Hugo, Lord Wanstead returns home from the war struggling to overcome physical and emotional injury. He has no use for being labelled a war hero, when so many others had died by his side. The fact that he'd also lost his wife and child only exacerbates his guilt. He is content to live a secluded life, but the years away have changed his situation. His father's massive debts have sunk the estate into hard times. Not one to sit idly by while her fellow tenants eke out a miserly existence, Lucinda confronts Hugo about setting the estate to rights and getting his people back to work. Soon he and the voluptuous widow are working together to return his lands to their former glory. Hugo finds her lush curves and vitality wildly attractive, and Lucinda cannot resist his increasing attention. But she realises her fairy tale romance will not last - surely Denbigh will eventually find her and expose her charade.

Though Young's plotline isn't new, her talent for bringing the language, customs and mores of the Regency era to vivid life sets the stage for another entertaining period piece in The Lady Flees Her Lord. Lucinda is definitely the focal point of the story: she's an unconventional heroine who, despite great risk to her reputation, is determined to escape her abusive husband's demands and be true to herself. Young also does a nice job portraying Hugo's character growth as he deals with the physical and emotional aftermath of war and the premature death of his wife and child. The Lady Flees Her Lord is an engaging Regency romance that lovers of the genre will find hard to resist.

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