The Second Lady Southvale

Written by Sandra Heath
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

Washington, July 4th, 1811. Britain is at war with France, America insists on continuing to trade with France, the result being that tensions are running high between Britain and America and another war seems inevitable. The Carberrys are giving the annual Fourth of July Ball, and all is going well until John Carberry, the dissolute son of the family, arrives with Lord Philip Southvale in tow. Lord Philip, a very wealthy widower, is a British envoy sent over on a diplomatic mission from London. The day before the ball he sees Rosalind Carberry driving past in her carriage and immediately falls in love with her. When Rosalind meets Philip their feelings are mutual. What happens next I leave for the reader to discover.

This is a love story set against the background of impending war with America shot through with all the usual ingredients of love, jealousy and betrayal before the ending is resolved. It is well told, with believable characters and good descriptions of the social order of the day.