Genre: historical romance
It's 1839, and Lord Eglinton's tournament in Scotland is the most anticipated event of the year: he and some of his noble friends will don medieval armor and joust like knights of old.
Does this mean a revival of true chivalry? Miss Florence Marsh thinks it might.
Or is the tournament mere tomfoolery and the greatest folly of the century? Mr. Robert Beaton thinks it is.
But when Flo and Robbie meet at Eglinton Park, they'll soon learn that a dash of romance can make the greatest differences look rather small and that true love might find you in the most unlikely place.
If only Robbie wasn't working for that scandalous new magazine Allan's Miscellany! If only Flo's father didn't detest the periodical press!
And if only they had remembered to bring an umbrella!
When Miss Florence Marsh’ aunt Lizzy reads something in a periodical she borrowed from one of the neighbours, she becomes very excited. Lord Eglinton is organizing a medieval tournament at his estate, open to the public, and it is just the thing for her brother, who loves everything medieval.
And so Flo and her father set out by train to watch the spectacle. Will it be all about chivalry or is it a folly? Mr. Robert Beaton and his partner William “Mac” MacNeil, the editor of Allan;s Miscallany, a new periodical in London, certainly think so. But they will attend just the same, to be able to write about it. Witnessing the rehearsals is a lot of fun as well, as some of the “Knights” really need some lessons in riding a horse and holding a lance.
And then the big day has come, Flo and her father has journeyed by steamtrain to a village nearby, where they have rented rooms. But lots of other people have just arrived without making any arrangements, and the villages around Eglinton Castle are swamped with people, and they all want to go to the estate. Thousands upon thousands of visitors are trampling the grounds, and swarming the seating arrangements. And the tournament just doesn’t begin in time. Flo doesn’t mind, there is enough for her to see, and she is sitting next to a nice young gentleman.
But then the weather changes and a thunderstorm breaks loose, immediately drenching the visitors. The colourful hats and blankets most of them bought are no protection at all. Still, Robbie helps Flo find some shelter, and later on escorts her back to the place she is staying with her father. Chivalry was not lost, after all. But it is a good thing her father doesn’t know he is working for Allan’s Miscellany, as he really does not appreciate that periodical.
They did not exchange last names, let alone their addresses, will they ever meet again?
I really enjoyed this quiet novella. It is a lovely change from “normal” historical romances, not featuring members of the ton and ballrooms and outings in the park. Flo is just a normal young lady, and her father used to work for a minor nobleman, but that is all. He is a scholar, and Flo takes care of the household for him, with the help of her aunt. Robbie is working for his living, making drawings mostly for the paper/periodical. At first I expected his tall dark and handsome partner to be the hero, and not Robbie, the upbeat boy next door type. So that was another nice surprise.
I loved the interaction between the characters, what happened that made Robbie find Flo again, and especially the ending after that. There was no hurry, no hasty declarations of love, just a bit of normal life as I imagine it back then. A lovely romance, that made me smile.
I have met Sandra Schwab for three years now in Berlin, during the Love Letter Convention, and she is really nice. She is always busy with the panel sessions, translating the things said by the English authors into German for the audience. (I keep hoping they will translate the things said by the German authors into English for the international people, but alas). And last year she gave me this lovely print edition of her novella to read. So, while I am getting ready on my blog to prepare for Berlin, it was high time I read it. It was different, and I enjoyed it very much indeed. I would love to read the other two novella’s in this series as well.
According the Sandra’s website, the story is free everywhere. Here is a link to her website, so grab your format of choice! http://www.sandraschwab.com/the-bride-prize.html
Read for #LLC2015
For more info look: http://www.loveletterconvention.com/en/
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian