The Queen's Lady.

3:10 AM

The Queen's Lady (The Lacey Chronicles, #2)The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Rating: 3.5 stars

Gosh, I dunno why I took so long to finish this one. I think it might be due to the lack of encounters and witty dialogue between the main characters. But overall, I really did like this one. I am becoming a huge fan of Eve Edwards' writing. Her style is so befitting of this era, it has the ability to immediately transport me so it's easy for me to get 'into' the book, even when I picked it up after a while.

The story is a continuation of the first book in the Lacey series. But this time it follows Jane and her life after friend, Ellie wedded Will Lacey (her initial betrothed). So we see a more mature Jane, even from the start of her book as she was now a Dowager. Married to a rather old (but extremely wealthy man) who is on the brink of death. Despite what others may think, she truly does bear affection towards her husband but love him as daughter would. It also follows the story of James Lacey who has recently returned from a war, a changed man. He has lost all zest in life and now adopts a jaded outlook on life. He finds it difficult to feel emotions like he used to and developed a rather violent streak. Haunted by nightmares of the war, he has become a ghost of the man he once was. James and Jane had a couple of sparks before the wedding of Ellie & Will. Now they meet again as two completely different people. Meanwhile, Jane's stepsons were after the wealth her husband left her, her father is attempting another betrothal for her (for the sake of his business) and she is occupied by the Queen's requests as she was a lady in the Queen's court. James is battling the scars of war and thinks himself completely unworthy of Jane. In order to regain his former self, James sets out on a perilous journey across the sea to discover new lands and himself.

The characters, though the same, are completely different from how they were present in the first book. I was quite surprised to find Jane so much more mature (she used to be a total brat) and James to be so violent and moody (he used to be the witty, cheerful one in the Lacey family). But they were not SO different that they feel like entirely new characters. I still find hints of their old self. There is also a subplot between Diego (Jame's African servant) and Milly (Jane's old friend), which I find quite entertaining. They provided a good buffer of romance as James and Jane do not get as much time together. All of them are really lovable and the 'villains' (like jane's father & brother & stepsons) make me so freakin' pissed. You WON'T BELIEVE the things they did to Jane. In other words, they are perfect villains, who make you root for the protagonists.

James is not very romantic as he is more a soldier than a gentleman. He does not have a way with words, but his straightforward nature makes for very swoon-worthy moments (especially towards the end). I do get annoyed when he's so hard on himself (ALL THE TIME). Jane is alot more likeable in this book. She suffers SO MUCH though. I seriously feel so bad for her and all the things she had to go through. My favourite character though, is Christopher Turner who is Milly's neighbour who is a theatrical actor. He's so extravagant and charming. Adds some spice to the mix and makes me laugh! Also, he is a very three-dimensional character 'cos we later find out so much more about him. I really hope this won't be the last I see of him.

The plot is my only pet-peeve and the reason why I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first one. There is more emphasis on melodramatic events and plotting that it lost some the charm from the first book. Jane and James have too little scenes together and there is not enough dialogue between them for me to truly believe and invest in their love. Things also hit quite a plateau when James left for his journey, leaving Jane behind. That part was quite one-sided 'cos lots of crap was happening to Jane (and she was so helpless that I got quite annoyed). And I'm not really interested in their journey to America. I don't really care, though I know it was a necessary thing for James. There was just too much stuff about the Indians that they found in America and blah-blah. Overall, it wasn't as romantic as the previous book.

But it was still a good read thanks to the wonderful writing. I really love the way Eve Edwards write. From what I see the next story might be about the third Lacey brother. I'm really excited to read the next installment to the series. It's so enjoyable, especially for historical fiction fans like me (who don't really like the raunchy, soft-porn romance novels that usually infest this genre). This series is so so lovely. =)

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