This book was rather special and personal in a surprising way. I love romantic historical fiction, and so clearly this was a typical selection for me. The fun part for me was the geography referenced in the book. I actually live in Spotsylvania, Virginia near the city of Fredericksburg, just north of Richmond and very close to Culpeper. Author Mary Ellis was spot on in her history and descriptions of the area the characters moved through. I was so absorbed in the story and excited to see my local history come to life.
Author Mary Ellis tells the story of war widow, Madeline Howard whose husband fought for the Union. As the war creeps into her backyard she is rescued by dashing General James Downing. They quickly form an attachment, but Madeline is forced to find shelter with her only family left in Richmond. It is there she finds herself constantly pulled between the the love of her Confederate family and her loyalty not only her country, but her new found love.
I loved the quick whit author Mary Ellis gave to Madeline. Fiction with strong female lead characters coupled with real human emotion always appeal to me. This is an excellent read and well worth adding to your must read list. A Lady and the Officer is the second book in the Civil War Heroines Series. This book stands alone, but having enjoyed it so much, I will definitely go back and read the first book.
Just for fun, here are some actual pictures of one of the battlefields Mary Ellis mentioned in her fabulous story. This is the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield I visit often with my family. These were taken just after one of our Spring snows.
This was definitely a perfect read for me, but you need not live here to enjoy it. I was given a complimentary copy of this book by its publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have not been compensated.