Reviewer: Trudy Smith
Title: Lady Lavender
Author: Lynna Banning
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Release Date: February 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 1867/Smoke River, Oregon
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Lynna's Website/Blog: www.lynnabanning.com
Widow Jeanne Nicolet has had a hard life. She left France to marry in New Orleans; her husband was killed in the War Between the States, and she crossed the country to find a new life. Jeanne has found that farming her lavender is her livelihood, the one thing she can count on for her and her daughter.
Wash Halliday, has had his share of pain and suffering. His girl left him to marry someone else the day before he left for the war. In the war, he was wounded and sent to one of the prison camps. After the war, in order to survive his physical and emotional wounds he took a job for one of the railroads as a route plotter, in charge of surveying and laying track. He enjoyed moving from place to place. He had no reason to want to settle down, his demons would just catch up to him if he did; that is until he met Jeanne.
The last thing that Wash wanted to do was tell the widow that her farm was on the railroads right of way but he had no choice, he was charged with laying the track right through her beautiful lavender fields. Jeanne was stubborn and also beautiful. Wash felt an attraction right down to his toes, but nothing could come of it, besides who would want an ex-soldier wounded in heart and body.
Once convinced that she had originally been swindled for her land, Jeanne was facing another hardship but she was determined to find the best solution for her and her daughter. Wash was looking into a couple of possibilities for her but with their growing attraction; Jeanne thought it best to look for her own solutions. She was sure Wash wouldn’t stay around. A wounded man like Wash could not want a ready-made family.
Can Jeanne convince Wash, a deeply wounded soul that love is worth the risk? Will Wash be able to let go of his past and open his heart to love again? How will two people, so perfect for each other, move past their past to love again?
I am a big fan of Lynna Banning’s western historicals and Lady Lavender is another hit. By Lynna’s writing you could almost see the field of lavender and smell the sweet fragrance. Lynna has a way of creating her characters with human-like qualities, folks you’d want to meet. Jeanne and Wash (for George Washington) were as different as night and day but went together like a hand in a glove. Lovable secondary characters made for a well-rounded story.
Lady Lavender was an enjoyable read that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. Get to know Jeanne and Wash you’ll be glad you did.
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