I really enjoyed the first entry in Galen's new series, The Survivor's.
Lady Lorraine, daughter of the Duke of Ridlington, is a bundle of energy that she has trouble keeping inside. She's determined, inquisitive, daring and delightful.
Ewan Mostyn is a returned soldier, a younger son of Lord Pembroke. He was one of a number of younger sons who fought and survived the Napoleonic Wars with Lieutenant Colonel Draven’s special unit. 'The survivors called themselves the Survivors. They called Ewan the Protector.'
Back in civilian life, the Colonel has opened a club for the men of his unit. A place they can gather and support each other, eat and sleep. For Ewan it's his lifeline.
The story begins with a runaway dog, a slightly damaged owner and a large bulk of a man who saves both from impending doom, not that the lady seems at all grateful much less aware of her eminent danger.
The Duke of Ridlington wants a bodyguard for his daughter and after the contretemps with Ewan and his daughter it seems the Duke's decided that Ewan is the man for the job.
This first of the series that will be woven around these survivors is a winner. Wonderful interaction between Lady Lorraine and Ewan--often hilarious. I love the tree limb sequences.
Of course there's an antagonist. Such a coincidence, (Hmm! the literary universe does move in mysterious ways), that it's Ewan's slimey cousin Francis, a person who's been a thorn in his flesh since early childhood. That these two should meet, and that Lorraine is the intersecting point, raises all sorts of emotions, bad memories and angst for Ewan and adds the requisite sinister note to the story.
I loved Galen's writing style, her turn of phrase. I was particularly struck by Ewan's metaphor regarding Francis's pursuit of his charge. 'Ewan had no illusions that his cousin was in love with Lady Lorraine. He wanted her dowry, and once he had it, he would discard his wife like a browning apple core.' That last image is brilliant!
And to think the starting point for this series was 'The Dirty Dozen' as Galen says in her Author's Note. (I always read the authors notes. I find them so enlightening.)
Anyway, I'm sold! I'm so looking forward to all the Survivor's stories!
A NetGalley ARC