Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
After the completion of his wonderfully perceptive and thoughtfully-rendered Darcy’s Tale trilogy, Stanley Michael Hurd has once again put pen to paper to tell the tale of another beloved Austenesque character. While Colonel Fitzwilliam may only be a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice, in Mr. Hurd’s hands he is transformed into an honorable hero worthy of our attention and admiration.
Our story begins two years after the close of Pride and Prejudice with a dispirited Colonel, bored from inactivity and dejected about his lack of accomplishment with his career. Even though peace is established between France and England and the war is declared over, Colonel Fitzwilliam is assigned an espionage mission in France to determine what Bonaparte’s intentions are and if he is indeed preparing for another war. A mission of this magnitude is just the kind of employment our dear Colonel was wanting, the only thing is…it comes as a most awkward time. Just last night the Colonel met a lady he feels very much taken with – Miss Emily Chelwood.
Unlike his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam realizes almost instantly his emerging feelings for the charmingly open Miss Chelwood and acts with forthrightness to promote their future together. But Miss Chelwood has some reservations about Colonel Fitzwilliam’s fixed determination to bring down Napoleon and believes it is best to protect her heart and practice some caution. Can the Colonel convince her to do otherwise?
Colonel Fitzwilliam and The Countess of Sainte Toulours is an ambitious and comprehensive tale that intertwines two distinct sides of Colonel Fitzwilliam’s character – the dutiful and courageous soldier who is ready to conquer the enemy and the tender and ardent man, alive with love, yearning for his heart’s desire. Since this novel is both a romance and historical adventure, I thought it might be helpful to look at each side separately:
- Romance: I loved seeing Colonel Fitzwilliam struck with love and witnessing how such a love can change him. Emily is endearing, admirable, and a supremely suitable wife for our dear Colonel. I loved Colonel Fitzwilliam’s intense pursuit of her and my jaw dropped when I read his heartfelt and swoon-worthy letters!
- Historical Adventure: I’m not the greatest lover of war stories and histories, but I very much appreciated how the adventure and history was presented in this tale. The action was engaging and the events that followed not too challenging to understand. A spy mission is very well-suited for our intelligent and fearless Colonel, and it was definitely a plot-line I found exciting to explore.
I now must devote the next paragraph of my review to some of the captivating and colorful original characters introduced in this tale. In this tale we meet Lord Estéban de Esparza, who has “a very particular set of skills” and is assigned to accompany Colonel Fitzwilliam on his mission to the continent. You can’t help but fall in love with Esparza and his courtly manners, suave charm, sharp mind, and carefree reliance on luck. 🙂 In addition we meet a fair damsel in distress, Comtesse de la Sainte Toulours. Whose past and sad story presents a lot of intrigue, but also some doubts…is she a spy as well? Both characters are wonderfully engaging and I could easily have wished for a little more page time with each of them!
The only complaint I have about this story is its uneven pacing. The beginning of the story is more drawn out and leisurely told compared to the ending. The second half of the book is the more riveting half and it felt like the details started to become a little sparse in this section. Some of the action scenes weren’t as descriptive and sometimes events were summarized instead of taking place on page.
Regardless of my quibble, I found Colonel Fitzwilliam and The Countess of Sainte Toulours to be a grand romantic adventure! Brimming with action, drama, danger, and heart, Mr. Hurd presents a tale for our dear Colonel that is enthralling, introspective, and praiseworthy! I eagerly await to see which character Mr. Hurd will write a story for next! (I personally feel Colonel Brandon could use his own tale…just saying. 😉 )
In conjunction with my review Stanley Hurd generously offers 2 Kindle editions of Colonel Fitzwilliam and The Countess Sainte Toulours for me to giveaway!!
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Stanley!
- This giveaway ends December 28th!