Aug 042010

Where Difficult Decisions Abound!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

(Note: Potential readers should be made aware that this is the third book in the Mercy’s Embrace series, and that it is necessary to read book 1 and 2 prior to reading this one.)

Elizabeth Elliot, suffering from a lack of financial freedom, enduring the scorn of malicious Bath gossips, and feeling the bitter betrayal of her closest friend and confidante, finds herself impelled to make a decision about her future. One thing is for certain, she must marry. Elizabeth is tired of being a burden to her sister Anne, and since her father can no longer support or provide for her she must find someone who can! The question is: who should she marry? Should she risk her heart and marry for love? Or should it be a marriage of convenience and mutual disdain? The Lady Must Decide…

Meanwhile, Lady Russell is having second thoughts about her madcap mission to save Sir Walter from his creditors. Will Sir Walter appreciate the great sacrifice she is making to save his hide? Is this undertaking worth the price of losing her loyal and devoted butler? Once again, The Lady Must Decide…

Back in Bath, Charles Musgrove has suddenly become aware that the inclinations of heart don’t tend towards his wife. Should he spend the rest of his life living with a woman who doesn’t possess his heart? Or should he forsake honor and duty and pursue the woman who does? Yet again, The La- er…I’m mean The Gentleman Must Decide…

As you can see, there is a profusion of trials, turmoil, and dilemmas in the third installment in Ms. Hile’s Mercy’s Embrace series. In The Lady Must Decide you will find the answer to all these question. Furthermore, within these pages you will encounter a lot of mishaps and chaos that will have you laughing out loud. Just imagine a scene with an immaculately attired Sir Walter, large food hampers, a boat dock, and the Thames River! (What do you think happened?) In addition to many comedic moments, The Lady Must Decide contains a captivating and tender romance story. Elizabeth must decide between two men, both whom she has declared to hate. However, both men want her and will resort to dueling to win her if need be. I greatly enjoyed these scenes where William Elliot tries to contend with Admiral McGillvary. (Go Team McGillvary!)

This novel was entertaining and satisfying in many respects, the only area I found lacking was its conclusion. I wish that it did not end with so many unanswered questions. Yes, there is resolution, but not for every story. I’m curious about: What will happen with William Elliot and Penelope Clay? Will Cleora McGillvary be forced to leave her father? And what is Sir Walter’s fate? It felt as if there was a scene or two missing. Perhaps this isn’t a three-part story after all! I see on Ms. Hile’s website that she is working on a novel titled Mercy’s Hard Bargain, let’s hope this wonderful saga continues!

How I adore this series! Elizabeth Elliot has undergone such a gradual yet praiseworthy transformation that she has completely won my approbation and admiration! If someone were to ask me who my favorite Austen heroines are Elizabeth Elliot would be right up there with Elizabeth Bennet and Catherine Morland! This series is a magnificent gift for those who want to revisit the world of Persuasion and see their favorite characters brilliantly rendered! The Mercy’s Embrace series has it all: clandestine affairs, misguided elopements, diverting nautical cant, nefarious scoundrels, and it is all written with a sparkling wit! I give this series my highest recommendation! Brava Laura Hile!

The Mercy’s Embrace Trilogy


This is my fifth completed item for the “Everything Austen Challenge II” hosted by Stephanie’s Written Word.

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  6 Responses to “Mercy’s Embrace: The Lady Must Decide – Laura Hile”


    >there is a profusion of trials, turmoil, and dilemmas

    Ah, be still my beating heart, I truly love this series. I have yet to read book 3, but it is on my bedside table awaiting its turn. Can’t wait!

    I’m also hoping that Laura continues the saga in Mercy’s Hard Bargain–I can’t get enough of EE myself. She did turn out rather well, didn’t she.

    Go Team McGillvary!


    Fabulous review Meredith! One of my favorites you have done.

    I too believe we will see more of these characters (at least that was the impression I got when I asked Ms. Hile – please, please, please!). I have almost a full blown crush on McGillvary.


    LOL Jane! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! I’m with you, I simply cannot get enough of these characters!

    Thank you, Alexa. It was a hard review to write, I didn’t want to giveaway too much information! I have a crush on Patrick McGillvary, too!


    I had not heard about this series. Now I have to check this out!


    I am sure you will love it Midnight Cowgirl!


    Meredith, I just stumbled on this review! Thank you! I’ve been away on vacation and am only now getting put back together. *shakes head at my own cluelessness*

    You guys are too much. The charter members of the McGillvary Fan Club, you are!

    I’ve been looking over the Mercy’s Hard Bargain manuscript — what there is of it — and found a snippet that you might enjoy. Not McGillvary (sorry), but Sir Walter.

    🙂 Laura

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