Gayle Callen ,The Lord Next Door Reviews

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“The Lord Next Door ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 24/10/2005

The Lord Next Door
Gayle Callen
Avon, Dec 2005, $5.99, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0060784113

In 1828 London, ten years old Tom steals a journal from his ten years old neighbor Veronica and writes to her. They become pen pals though they never meet as she is the daughter of a banker who cannot play with the son of the earl's cook. In 1834, Tom abruptly stops writing.

Ten years later, Veronica's dad committed suicide leaving her, her two younger sisters and their mom to fend for themselves. The siblings move on while Veronica has to find a home for her distraught mom before they are dispossessed. She asks her Tom to marry her though she has not heard from him in sixteen years only to learn that he is Viscount David Thurlow. He wonders if she could be the answer to problems his father's scandal caused him; no one in the Ton will accept him as a suitor in spite of his rank.

David proposes explaining he needs a wife to produce an heir. His only condition is there will be no scandal. Veronica hides her father's suicide from him and accepts. She tells her mom and he his dad; both are dismayed. They marry, but Veronica vows to herself to leave if necessary is he is in danger of causing a scandal that will hurt David's position in Polite Society.

The robust lead couple and fully-developed support cast make for a fine historical romance though there is no major conflict. Readers fully understand what motivates Tom and Veronica and why his father behaved as he did after his wife died. Gayle Callen provides a wonderful nineteenth century romance in which the hero is NO ORDINARY GROOM and his beloved gives him much more than A WOMAN'S INNOCENCE.

Harriet Klausner

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