Prelude for a Lord – Camille Elliot

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preludePrelude for a Lord was my first experience with this author and all I can say is, “Wow, I’m impressed!”  This book included everything I enjoy about Historical Fiction plus an exciting plot that twists and turns; as hard as I tried to figure out who was the bad guy before the end, I couldn’t.  (To me, that’s the mark of a great writer!)

Setting…
Bath, England – 1810.

Characters…

Alethea Sutherton: A twenty-eight year old who counts the days until she is “of age” so she can claim her inheritance, pack up her violin and move to Italy where it is socially accepted for women to play the violin.  Emotionally abused by the men in her family, she had no desire to marry.  With her plan mapped out, Alethea Sutherton is dashed when her guardian, Wilfred Sutherton (a.k.a. evil cousin) sends her off to Bath to live with her aunt.  In Bath, a mysterious man insists on buying her violin, but Alethea can’t part with it.  Her resistance causes danger, which launches her on a quest to investigate who originally owned the violin.

Bayard Terralton:  A nobleman who is quite the accomplished musician and yes, he plays the violin.  He and his three friends play in a quartet and were popular in London.  The quartet ceased when his country called and he became an officer under Wellesley and fought Napoleon Bonaparte on the Iberian Peninsula.  Damaged from the war, Bay suffers from nightmares and relapse from his time in the war; the gossips call him the “Mad Baron,” casting a bad name on his family.  Now, back at home, Bay is determined to revive the quartet, see that his sister has a successful first season in London and redeem his family name.

The Storyline…
Two violinist.  Both broken by events in life that were beyond their control, both convinced they won’t marry.  Hmmm, sounds like the perfect match to me!  Too bad it didn’t appear that way to them…  In Bath, Alethea is stalked by a man who wants to buy her violin.  Bay is competing with another violinist to land the quartet a concert at the ball of a prominent member of society whose approval would remove the blemish on his family name and see that his sister has a good first season.  In order to secure that position for the quartet, Bay must help Alethea discover the original owner of her violin.  The more they discover, the more threats are thrust upon both families and the situation becomes quite dangerous.

Bridging Historical with Modern Life…
The theme I picked up from this story is that of love in spite of imperfection.  Alethea felt insecure and distrustful because of the way the men in her family treated her and didn’t want to marry – Bay felt incomplete because he had an illness and didn’t want a relationship until he was cured.  They were so alike.  Each one carried a burden they thought no one else would want, yet, in the end, they realized that such things weren’t the road to loneliness and the end of what could have been a happy life.

In the timeless discussion, do romance novels give women an unrealistic expectation of what men are like? This book falls under a definite, no.  These characters had to grow before they accepted each other’s love.  A lot of that growing had to deal with their problems; how they looked at them in relation to the Lord and to other people.  If you read this story with your “spiritual reading glasses” on, you’ll take away a lot from this book.

Conclusion:  There are so many things I loved about this book!  First, it had me hooked.  It wasn’t just a love story; it had a thick plot, suspense and action.  But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all about those things.  For the most part, the story was a sweet Regency and the suspenseful parts only appeared in the places where they fit, but when they did, oh, was it good!  Second, the writing fit the era.  The word choices and the way the scenes were described all gave me the feeling of being in 1800’s England.  I don’t know how an author does that, but Camille Elliot is a master!  Third, the characters were so enjoyable!  I couldn’t begin to go over all the supporting characters and how they had a depth all their own.  Before the book begins, there are a few pages listing the “Cast of Primary Characters” so you can keep them all straight.  Though many people were introduced along the way none felt copied or shallow.  They literally all had their own personality.  Even Aunt Ebena had me won over in the end.  *wink*  Then, there’s the music.  Originally, I picked up the book because the main character played the violin and I always enjoy stories with music in the spotlight.  The author did a great job showing how music speaks to a part of the soul words can’t reach.  Camille Elliot is a great writer and I look forward to reading the other books in this series.  If you like Downton Abbey, just with a musical twist, you’ll love Prelude for a Lord!  If this sounds like a story you would enjoy, I recommend that you check out the authors blog, here, where she shares some “extras” from this book!  In closing, this was a clean, sweet read that deserves five stars!

I read the paperback version from Zondervan, 343 pages in length and complete with Discussion Questions.

Recommend for…

Anyone who loves Historical Fiction, music…especially violin, English settings with a Downton Abbey feel and a good plot.

To purchase…

Paperback —>  Here

Kindle —> Here

Nook —> Here             

Author: lynnschronicles

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