"The Lady and the Officer" by Mary Ellis is quite an excellent read! I highly recommend it!
What a story!
This story is so different from The Quaker and the Rebel and yet... so much the same.
THIS time, we are seeing the war from the eyes of a well-to-do "yankee" instead of a quietly rebellious Quaker.
However, both stories have our heroine living with staunch southern supporters and it is an intriguing conundrum to say the least.
I highly commend Mary Ellis for being able to switch viewpoints so drastically and write each so convincingly!
I knew Mary was a terrific writer after reading the two previous books but this story has shown me a new depth to that talent and I am in awe!
Ironically, seeing this series from so many perspectives has me wondering where my own loyalties would have lain had I been living in the time. I always thought I knew but reading about these heroines and their ideals - and the men they fall for... and their ideals - has me wondering.
And that is the best kind of book - one that gets under your skin and into your heart and REALLY makes you think!
The Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis was a sweeping Civil War story depicting one womans life and decisions during the last two years of that most brutal war. Having been widowed due to the war, Madeline Howard has also lost her late husbands business (he was a horse breeder), her home, and purpose in Pennsylvania. Being a Yankee through and through, she still decided she needed to move to Richmond, Virginia to seek shelter with her wealthy Uncle, Aunt, and cousin. However, before she leaves she has managed to capture the attention of a Union officer by the name of James Downing. He implores her to stay on the North side during the war however she feels she still needs to go to family. Since there is nothing James can do while the war is going on, he promises to write and vows to her and (himself) that he will find her after the war.
Now what I found very fascinating was how Madeline, being from the north and very much wanting the Union to win, has learned how to live her daily life in the very capital of the Confederacy. How she still loves her family and they her, yet they have very opposing views. There is intrigue, spies, and a bit of a love triangle when a Confederate soldier steps into her life in Richmond making Madelines decisions more complicated. This is my first Mary Ellis book and her romantic historical had me right there experiencing the South with Madeline. This story was very unpredictable and I so very enjoyed the resolution of this book. One particular scene was just amazing to me with how it played out. Thank you to the The Book Club Network, Inc. (TBCN) for my review copy. The opinions are my own.
I loved this book. Mary Ellis is awesome at telling a story. While reading The Lady and the Officer I could picture the scenes she painted. This book was so interesting that I feel it could be made into a movie, not that it would do the book justice. The Lady and the Officer is book two in the Civil War Heroine Series, the first book is called The Quaker and the Rebel. I did not have to read the first book to love this one. But after reading how Ellis writes I am dying to read more of her books. I could not put this book down!
Madeline has had her share of hardships in her life and she is still so young! When almost everything has been taken from you, little things can set you off. Thats exactly what happened when some soldiers were ruining the flowers in Madelines garden. One of those soldiers was General James Downing. Ever since meeting him Madeline begins to feel in a way she never thought she would again. And James cant shake his fascination of her either.
It was so interesting learning more about the civil war times. Ellis helped me imagine how hard it would have been back then. When son was turned against father, and soldiers took things whether they were freely given or not. I couldnt imagine watching someone walk off with my livestock and not doing something about it. The Lady and the Officer is a great love story with many great twists and turns. It was hard to put down, and kept me dying to know what was going to happen next. I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction of any type. You will not regret reading this book! I can promise you that! I received a copy of this book from the author, Harvest House Publishers, and TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
Madeline Howard can't believe she's managed to become so frivolous as to worry about her flowers being stomped on by her dear Union army. After losing her sweet husband Tobias, her home, her possessions, and even the horses she desperately tried to hide, she has no choice but to move to Richmond, VA...the heart of the enemy's territory. When Union General, James Downing comes to her rescue more then once, she can't help but fall in love. But does James feel the same? Desperately trying to help her country, Madeline finds herself doing things she would never dream of doing otherwise. Will her family forgive her? And will she ever be in her beloved James' arms again?
James misses the pretty Mrs. Howard he rescued, more then he ever thought possible. After seeing Madeline only a few times, he can't help but put himself in danger for the sweet spitfire of a woman enveloping his dreams. When his thoughts begin to endanger him and his troops, he knows he must keep his focus on his men instead of his one true love. But when a mysterious photo shows up, will his trust in Madeline fizzle?
Elliot Haywood isn't just indebted to the woman that saved his life, he's in love with her. Only, everytime he wishes to express his feelings Mrs. Haywood stops him, saying she is in love with another. Willing himself to be just her friend, his heart is breaking. When comes a choice that could either save or endanger Madeline, will he allow his heart to shatter for her sake?
*What I liked*
I sincerely loved this book. Every bit of it. Mary created sincere characters, a believable,endearing story line, and real danger & suspense. Into my top 5 it goes!! I stayed up forever reading it! I loved seeing how the people on both sides handled the tragedys...from a young girl yearning for ball to a preacher who lost his church. So emotional! Actually, the fact that I live in VA, just 20+ minutes from Lynchburg and a little under 2 hrs from Richmond, made it very intriguing as well!!
*What I didn't like*
The main thing people wouldn't like is the deceiving going on throughout the book. However, Madeline makes up for her wrongdoings and ,really, what would we do in her place? Mary really redeems Madeline's faults and turns it into suspense...yay!
I give The Lady and The Officer...
*Why my rating is what it is*
My rating is five stars because even though this book had some lying in it by the main character, this book is faultless. Great, suspenseful characters, lots of history, and an awesome cover make it a top 5 for me!!
*I received this complimentary book from Harvest House publishers in exchange for my honest review, I was not compensated in any other way.
The Lady and The Officer,***** Civil War Heroines Series, book 2 by Mary Ellis
Madeline Howard loved her peaceful home in Cashtown, Pennsylvania, but the battle in Gettysburg shattered that peacefulnessand her home, forever. Now she must make her way to her Aunt Clarisa and Uncle John Duncan's home in Richmond, VAeven though her heart remains in Pennsylvania and with General James Downing of the Union Army. At her aunt's home she soon meets Colonel Elliott Hayward of the Confederate Army. Elliot is falls in love with Madeline, but he learns her heart belongs to another. One day Madeline accidentally overhears a discussion regarding the Confederate's plans for the Union Army, giving her the perfect opportunity to spy and pass along this important information. But Madeline is torn, she wants to save James and put an end to the war quickly but how can she betray her beloved family and Elliott, who is now a friend? How does one go about spying when they have always been an honest, godly woman? What if she is caught? Will God and her family forgive her for spying? If she has to choose between James and Elliott, who will she pick?
I enjoyed reading The Lady and the Officer very much. I can picture the scenes in my mind as I read the story. I am not sure if I could have even considered spying in order to gain information to pass along to the other side. The characters feelings and struggles are clearly shown regarding the terrible war in which families loyalties were often on different sides. I loved the characters in this story and would like to see them in the next book.
~~I received a copy of this book from Book Club Network for my honest review~~