“With His Lady’s Assistance” is the first book in Cheryl Bolen’s Regent Mysteries Series. It is only available in eBook format: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Smashwords. If you are unfamiliar with Ms. Bolen’s works, you writes for Harlequin Historicals and Zebra Historicals. She has released some eight Regency novels and several novellas. Bolen has received numerous nominations and awards.
Personally, I like Bolen’s works. I have read several of them, including
Book Blurb: To help him mingle in the highest echelons of English society to investigate threats on the Prince Regent’s life, super spy Captain Jack Dryden must feign an engagement to the exceedingly plain spinster, Lady Daphne Chalmers. Together they embark on an investigation which brings them into grave peril – and makes the captain reevaluate the skinny maiden who has a most amorous effect upon him.
* * *
With His Lady’s Assistance is a delightful blend of humor, romance, and mystery, a romp through Regency society, sprinkled with appealing characters and colorful figures from British history. Protecting the eccentric Prince Regent from an unknown assassin has never been so entertaining. – In Print
This book combines humor, romance, and mystery. Although I knew early on who the assassin might me, I am not the typical mystery reader, and I usually spot the “red herring” early on. That did not take away from the pleasure of reading this book. The characters are likeable, and they invoke our empathy. Those who read Regencies know immediately that the second son of a country squire cannot aspire to the likes of an earl’s daughter. Captain Jack Dryden is England’s finest spy, and Lady Daphne Chalmers is Society’s “adorable” spinster. They are an unlikely match, which makes them the perfect couple.
It is a bit refreshing to permit Daphne to see the “debauchery” of the beau monde through Jack’s eyes. Captain Dryden is not beyond physical relationships with a woman he desires, but he does expect to honor his marriage vows. We see Society holds no such guidelines for behavior. Jack’s “Puritanical” views appear out of sync with Daphne’s acceptance of what goes on among the ton. In fact, the Prince Regent has chosen Daphne because she has seen him in a VERY compromising situation and has told no one. Her ability to be discreet is as important as Daphne’s impeccable connections.
Bolen’s use of real-life characters adds authenticity to the story line. Princess Caroline, George IV’s estranged wife, is shown in a most deplorable fashion, but the actions fit what history tells us of the woman.
The novel has 31 chapters and the pacing is a bit slow. For example, there is a whole chapter leading up to an attack on Princess Charlotte (the Prince Regent’s daughter), but in reality, that attack occurred previously and was talked about at a ball. The book could use some closer editing. There are scenes which do not advance the main plot. That being said, I would recommend the book to those who enjoy a lighter touch in a Regency romance. The main characters are not snipping at each other throughout which was a welcome change in a Regency plot. I would give the book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Regina, How terribly sweet of you to mention my book. You’re such a love.
Cheryl, it is I who should be thanking you. It’s great to discover another “favorite” writer. I recently read your “Christmas at Farley Manor” and loved it. After that, I downloaded an additional five of your titles to my Kindle.
Oh, my goodness! I am so humbled. Thank you.