Romantic Times Bookclub awards 4 ½ stars to An Affair of Honor. Their review says: "Ms. Hern exquisitely develops her appealing love story with richly textured characterizations and impeccable craftsmanship."
Rakehell.com says: "I couldn't put it down. I loved this book, and anyone who can't find a copy is missing out. An absolutely DON'T MISS read."
Under the Covers Book Reviews says: "Candice Hern has penned a charmer that engages the reader from the first sentence. Her characters are people the reader would love to know -- or be -- and plot and tension just keep building and building. An Affair Of Honor is the model Regency; a delightful, heart-warming read; and a definite keeper."
An Affair of Honor is the third book in the Regency Rakes trilogy. The other books are:
Original 1996 cover
As I was planning out this story, I knew it had to end not only with a duel, but with a duel that goes wrong. I wanted my hero's gun to have been tampered with in some way so that when fired it would likely kill him, either by exploding or backfiring or some such thing. Since I don't know anything about guns, especially 1814 flintlock dueling pistols, I didn't have a clue what sort of tampering might be required to put my boy in danger.
Luckily, I live in a town that is also home to Butterfields, an auction gallery that happens to be one of the premier purveyors of antique arms and armor in the world. I spoke with two of the gun experts there, and together they came up with the precise sort of tampering required for the gun, if fired, to blow up in my hero's face. Many thanks to the experts at Butterfields.
This book has my favorite of all my traditional Regency original covers. When I first saw the artwork, without the author/title graphics, it reminded me of that famous "Gone With the Wind" poster, with a beautiful blazing sky in the background. My sky is simply meant to be sunrise, not the burning of Atlanta, but I think it's just as glorious. Unfortunately, the title graphic covers up much of that beautiful sky. You'll have to use your imagination.
Lord Sedgewick has suffered a serious carriage accident and been taken into the home of Sir Terrence Ashburton, his sister Meg, and their grandmother. After several days of feverish delirium, he has finally regained full consciousness.
"I am afraid I have put you and your family to a great deal of trouble. I cannot thank you enough for all you have done."
Mrs. Lattimer gave a dismissive wave accompanied by a dainty sniff. "Anyone would have done as much, my lord. Now, you say you remember where you were going. Do you recall much else? What might have caused the accident?"
"I have only the recollection of flying through the air," Sedge said. "Not much else beyond that. Very little, anyway. I do recall . . . but, no. I must have been dreaming." He chuckled softly. "You will think me foolish, but I dreamed I had died and gone to heaven. I even recall a beautiful red-haired angel bending over me and calling my name."
All at once, Mrs. Lattimer's face lit up like a candle. Her eyes widened and a broad smile
stretched from ear to ear. "That was no dream, my lord," she said in an excited tone. "That was no angel. That was my granddaughter, Meg. Miss Margaret Ashburton, that is. She has been tending you valiantly throughout your fever."
"Then I am most grateful to her," Sedge said, too weary to puzzle over the woman's sudden burst of enthusiasm.
"She was the one who first recognized you, my lord," Mrs. Lattimer continued. "She remembered you from her Season, a few years back. No doubt you recall her. I believe you danced with her . . . more than once."
"Miss Ashburton?" Sedge attempted, without success, to place the name, to link it with the beautiful red-haired angel of his dreams. "You must forgive me, please. My head is ... I am still somewhat muddled, I suppose. But I cannot seem to "
At that moment, the bed chamber door flew open. Sedge turned his aching head toward the door . . . and beheld a vision. Not just any vision. It was his angel.
One of the tallest women he'd ever seen glided into the room with a long, purposeful stride. She wore a dark green velvet habit that hugged her shapely curves in such a way as to cause his breath to catch in his throat. She was in the process of removing a jaunty black beaver with a green plume, to reveal hair of a remarkable shade of russet and eyes of almost the exact same color. Her red hair was pulled back in a knot at her neck, but several wayward tendrils refused to be confined and softly framed her face. She had high cheekbones, luminous skin, and an unexpected and thoroughly delightful sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of her nose.
All this was noted in the space of a breath the one caught in Sedge's throat as the elegant beauty glided into the room. She was his angel, there was no doubt of it. But she was more than an angel. She was as regal and elegant as any queen a Celtic goddess, an Amazon, a warrior queen. She was Boadicea herself.
She was glorious.
He could not tear his eyes from her as she moved to stand beside Mrs. Lattimer. An uncharacteristic pang of embarrassment shot through him, that such a woman should meet him just now, when he was at his worst, helpless and weak as a kitten.
Boadicea placed an arm around Mrs. Lattimer's shoulder in a fond gesture. "Your herbal seems to have done the trick, Gram. Welcome back to the Land of the Living, my lord."
"Th-thank you." Gad, he was stammering and gawking like a schoolboy.
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