In Regency-era America, a beautiful young woman determined to enter a steeplechase and a handsome horse breeder may have a British enemy — or two. Fall 1810 in Virginia was a wonderful time for a long carriage ride, or perhaps a race on horseback. The Commonwealth was still young, but thriving. Unfortunately, there still were those who sympathized with the British. Martha Osborne’s stepmother has again traveled to England, her very young son in an academy. Equestrian Phillip Paulson is sympathetic to Martha’s desire to have her half-brother returned home. As Martha and Phillip’s relationship blossoms, danger looms. Will the steeplechase end it all?
Martha Osborne has a little step-brother, Johnny, whom she worries about because he was sent to a boarding school at such a young age. Her step-mother seems more concerned about trips back to England than she does her children, leaving Martha frustrated and concerned.
Phillip Paulson, an equestrian at the boarding school, takes an interest in little Johnny, which helps to allay some of Martha’s fears. That is, until new more ominous ones appear.
Each main character has engaging traits Johnny is an appealing child; Martha is determined and loyal, while Phillip is protective. The villains (I won’t give any spoilers!) are truly villainous!
Carrie Fancett Pagels has written another outstanding historical novella, focusing on Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, just prior to the War of 1812. She gives such detailed portrayals of settings and events that you feel you are there, too. The imagery she evokes, the attention to detail and the historical accuracy are just a few of the reasons I enjoy her books so much.
I enjoy historical fiction, otherwise, history just seems to be a dry dusting of dates you no doubt memorized in school. Miss Pagels’ stories truly bring the events to life.