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  • An absolutely wonderful story

    I enjoyed this historical novel from the first to the last word. You will be captured by Lily, the main character, her charm, strength and boldness often getting her into trouble. A nurse in WW1 a castle in Scotland a hospital for injured soldiers and a nasty journalist out for his own gain and a jealous woman I highly recommend this either to read or listen, it is well narrated as an audio book

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  • Romance and Mystery in Scotland During the Great W

    Wannabe "bad girl" American heiress Lily Durham is sent off to visit English relations just before the start of World War I. Her parents hope she will become a more proper young lady more suitable for marriage within their stratified social set. But Lily's life changes as England becomes embroiled in the Great War. She and her cousin opt to help as an aide and nurse, respectively, at a Scottish castle now dedicated to helping wounded young men coming back from the front. The story is both a romance and a mystery. The young heiress captures the interest of the young, impoverished, and physically disabled Laird of the castle. As they get to know each other under the watchful eye of "the matron," unfortunate incidents start happening around the castle, like a missing patient, a fire, and a poisoning. Not only do these horrible things happen, but a London newspaper owner is happy to not only publish stories about them but smear the laird's and his family's good name. Will the laird get over his belief that his physical limitations prevent him from marrying? Will he figure out who's causing all the problems around the castle before it's too late? I listened to the audiobook version of this story, and unfortunately, I didn't think the narrator always did a good job. Although she voiced the Scottish villagers and tenants fairly well, her vocal styling for the laird was almost laughable. I've been to Scotland several times, and the accent she gave him sounded more Eastern European most of the time, or even Indian in places. Now and again, a Scottish flavor would come out, but that was rare. As the laird is the romantic hero and so often at the Forefront of the story, the sound of his voice is actually important. In general, I liked the story itself. The heroine certainly had a growth arc; she matures yet still retains her essential core herself that not only endears her to the hero but also to the men she cares for. The girl certainly has strength and flare! And she’s not afraid to stand up to difficult people when needed. I liked the relationship the heroine developed with the laird's reclusive, ill younger sister. I thought, perhaps, the hero was a little too broody, and I didn’t like the way he believed his leg injury was such a romantic setback that it would preclude marriage. Despite the poor vocal styling, I thought he was a great character, though, and swoon-worthy as we like our historical heroes to be. I thought the author did a good job setting up the book’s mystery aspect as well. Something was definitely amiss at the castle, and I enjoyed puzzling out who the villain or villains could be. I figured it out before the reveal, but that did not diminish my enjoyment of the story. Neither the book's title nor cover reflected the book well. I'm not quite sure what “Beauty Among Ruins” is supposed to mean, as the castle is not in ruins and the heroine's beauty is the least important aspect of her character! The castle on the cover doesn't look like an early 1700s-era Scottish castle. It looks more like what people think castles should look like or what some of the more whimsical ones in France and Germany look like. All in all, though, I found this to be a well-written and enjoyable book. I received a free copy of this book, but that did not affect my review.

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