Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: A Lady of High Regard by Tracie Peterson

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Born into affluence, Mia Stanley is a winsome socialite with a knack for matchmaking. She's also a writer for Godey's Lady's Book magazine, much to the disdain of her family--and their society friends. A proper young lady of her social standing isn't meant to labor in such a way, but Mia has always had a way with words...

When her writing draws her into the world of downtrodden seamen's wives on Philadelphia's docks, Mia uncovers a scheme that puts her in harm's way. But her heart ends up on the line as well.... Has her determination to always make a match driven away the one man whose esteem she covets?

My Thoughts:
This novel gives an interesting glimpse into the different opinions held by 19th century society for working women, at a time when most people weren't sure if they should applaud or shun the idea.

I do have to admit that it took a few chapters for me to get used to the style of dialogue that is used. I don't know if this is actually how people in the 19th century talked or not, but it's quite formal compared to what our modern conversations generally are. However, after a few chapters I found I had adjusted well enough to focus more on the story than on the somewhat stiff way people go about conversing.

Mia has a heart for the needy, and her position as a writer for a popular magazine gives her ample information and opportunity to help those who are less fortunate. Mia is bold and crafty in her efforts to help the poor, particularly the seaman's wives, who suffer many injustices while society turns a blind eye. Though her intents are noble, Mia's actions often end up putting her in harm's way, and I couldn't help but think she was rather foolhardy in her disregard for safety. The issue of the seaman's wives, though terribly sad, unfortunately did get a bit old for me after while. It seemed that the same things just kept getting rehashed, particularly whenever Mia would explain the situation to a new person.

Garrett and Mia have been life-long neighbors and best friends, but fairly early in the story they both start to notice a shift in their feelings towards the other. This was fun to watch, but I quickly wished they would just get on with it and admit their feelings for each other. Granted, it wasn't for lack of trying; whenever one or the other would start to approach the subject of their feelings, they would always get interrupted and be unable to continue. It would be okay if it was just once, maybe twice, but ultimately it ended up growing rather tiresome as it continued to happen time and time again.

Overall I would say this book is "okay"....while it did have some things that I liked, many of the major plot points just didn't interest me very much. I think if the story had been tightened up and shortened a bit, some of the redundancy could have been trimmed out and the story would be stronger as a whole. However, I did quite enjoy the other two books in the series, so ultimately I think this might just be one of those times when this particular book and I simply didn't click as well as I would've liked.

My Rating: 3 stars


  1. As I remember, I really liked this one. It was quite entertaining. Definitely one of this author pairing's best series.

    Sorry it didn't thrill you, Val. :/

  2. I was rather sad that I couldn't click with the story, as well. However, I really really enjoyed books 2 and 3, so overall I'm glad I had a chance to read the series. Reviews for 2 and 3 are coming soon! :)

    Thanks for stopping by, Rissi!