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A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes
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A Necessary Deception was, overall, a decent Regency Romance with an interesting subplot involving espionage, a smattering of political intrigue, and some incorporation of historical events and issues current at the time period when it was written, such as the Luddite insurrection and the assassination of Prime Minister Spencer Percival. At times, however, the plot twists and turns were perhaps a little too ambitious, seeming to mae the story disjointed, lurching, and hard to follow in places.
There also seemed a little too much reliance to dramatic chapter-endings and cliff hangers to maintain interest.
Don’t get me wrong- drama can be compelling, but sometimes it’s possible to have too much of it, perhaps at the expense of other literary devices like character development or depth of plot.

I also found I had some of the same issues with the story as others by this author (and many others)foremost the use of various Americanisms by the ostensibly British characters, which appeared totally out of place for the time period.
These included ‘someplace’ instead of ‘somewhere’ as is more commonly used in Britain, or a location being several ‘blocks’ away.
Or said British characters using the terms England and Britain interchangeably (sometimes in the same sentence) as if they were synonyms for the same country- which they are not. Such would be expected from American characters, but not from British ones who ought to have known the difference.

I suppose such oversights or minor inaccuracies are to be expected, given the Christian Regency genre is dominated by American authors, and aimed at the US market. However, I suppose I would like a little more realism in terms of elementary details such as speech, language and dialect, especially in a novel that seemed to be generally well-researched in other ways.
I did also question the plausibility of Lydia’s notion that a person could be thrown into the Tower for sedition at the slightest hint of any criticism of the royal family. How could this have been so when there were satirical cartoons about the Prince Regent?

As for the characters- they were developed and well-rounded for the most part, but no always easy to identify or sympathise with. Lydia’s desire to protect her family was admirable, but her initial attitude towards men was very annoying. Basically, she believed that any man who wouldn’t let a woman do what she wanted, or pursue her own interests was an evil, repressive, autocratic, tyrant – but there was nothing remotely autocratic or controlling about her demanding men give up their careers to stay at home.
An opinion resembling too much the extremes of militant feminism for my liking- never mind being arrogant, immature and nauseating.
Admittedly, she seemed to realize this attitude was unfair and unrealistic towards the end, but a little too jarringly modern for my liking.

Finally, the villain, when he was finally unmasked, seemed to be largely lacking in any real motivation- apart from being the person least expected, and the Christian themes did appear a little forced or contrived at times.
I would consider reading the next two books in the series, to find out the story about Lydia’s sisters, and recommend this, but, like the Midwives Trilogy and A Lady’s Honor by the same author, it’s not a favourite.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
Title: A Necessary Deception (The Daughters of Bainbridge House #1)
Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
Pages: 343
Year: 2011
Publisher: Revell
In this first book of her new series, Laurie Alice Eakes sets the story in England in the spring of 1812 when France is at war with England, and the United States is threatening war with England as well. This is also known as the Regency period, and the story is set among the aristocratic class.
Lady Lydia Gale is a widow, living a rather poor life in comparison to her upbringing on her husband’s pension as he died while in service to his country fighting the French. She only enjoyed one week of marriage before her husband set off to rejoin his unit, and Lydia never saw him again. She received one final message from her husband before his death and now the time has come to fulfill the obligation set forth in his message. After meeting this obligation, she thinks she is done with her duty and heads off to London to help plan one sister’s wedding and another sister’s coming out season. Her mother is often ill and leaves this task to Lydia as she is the oldest. Lydia also is still trying to measure up to her father’s expectations in anything she does as she feels she has always failed him in everything she has tried to do. She failed at being a wife, a mother, and a daughter in her eyes. She believes God no longer hears her prayers and has given up on praying. Now she is being blackmailed by an unknown government official to introduce two operatives into society or else her family will be ruined once it is found out the task Lydia was obliged to perform per her husband’s last edict.
Christien de Meuse is French, but moved to England with his family at the age of 10 to escape the revolutionaries. He is also looking to Lady Gale for an entrée into society. He and Lydia’s husband served together as soldiers. Lydia’s husband shared her letters and pictures with Christien, so he feels as if he knows her before he actually meets her. He is immediately smitten, but keeps his feelings to himself. He must complete his last mission, and then settle down in the country and see his sisters married off. Lady Gale on the contrary is very distrustful of him as she has just had the same request made of her by someone else. This can’t be a coincidence. Who is telling the truth? Christien has had to compromise his personal beliefs and integrity for his job. Can he successfully complete this last mission or will he return to the Christian man he was before the service?
This novel is classified as historical romance, but there is much more. There is a tension, intrigue and suspense with each page as the reader tries to figure out who is really who they say they are and who is lying. Also, there is humor, camaraderie and bolstering of shaky faith of some. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have already started on the second book in the series, which I will review here shortly. This is a great adventure with great dialogue to keep readers interested and quickly flipping pages until the very last page.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Nov 8, 2013 |
NCLA Review: This latest Regency era romance by Laurie Alice Eakes has all the best elements of a mystery/suspense tale. Set in the London of 1812 when England was at war with both France and the U.S., spies and intrigue were everywhere. When Lady Lydia Gale provides assistance to a French prisoner, she never dreamed that he would turn up in her parlor. Instead of focusing on her youngest sister’s “come-out” and her other sister’s impending marriage, Lydia found herself almost totally preoccupied with Christien, the mysterious Frenchman. Is Christien suitor or spy? Are his loyalties to England or France? Who in this tale is utilizing a necessary deception? Will Christien give up his vendetta to avenge his father’s murder with the help of God? Readers will be on the edge of their seats as the plot twists and turns before satisfactory resolutions are achieved. Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. In this book she has woven a vibrant tapestry weaving together a suspenseful and mysterious plot with many interesting and mysterious characters. Rating: 3 —MF ( )
  ncla | Mar 13, 2012 |
Trying to atone for her mistakes as a wife, Lady Lydia Gale helps Christian de Meuse, a French prisoner and friend of her late husband, obtain parole. Having done her good deed, she expects never to see him again. With one sister debuting in London society and one sister close to marriage, Lydia's days are full with preparations for the events. However, when a mysterious stranger blackmails her and Christian reappears, Lydia struggles to keep her sanity. Will her preoccupation with Christian ruin her family? Or might he be able to help her connect the clues about the blackmailer?

A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes is the first of the Daughters of Bainbridge House series. I definitely see potential for future stories that focus on Lydia's younger sisters. I loved all the plot twists in this story. The suspense kept the plot moving and I was unsure of the blackmailer's identity until almost the end. The one character that seemed out of place was Barbara. Although she accompanied Lydia occasionally for the sake of Lydia's reputation, Barbara seemed flat and unnecessary as there were plenty of times that Lydia went out alone or unaccompanied while spending time with Christian. Overall, I enjoyed this book and will probably read it again in a few years. I recommend A Necessary Deception to fans of historical Christian romances.

Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." ( )
  Sneezybee23 | Oct 22, 2011 |
A NECESSARY DECEPTION by Laurie Alice Eakes is an exciting historical romance set in 1812 Devonshire,England. Book 1 in “The Daughters of Bainbride House”. This is the story of a young widow Lady Lydia Gale and a French prisoner Christophe Arnaud. It has danger,mystery,suspense,faith,love,misunderstanding,traitor,treason,
romance,betrayal,spies,family,healing,intrigue,balls,masquarades, and love.It has strong characters with twists and turns. While, Lady Gale and Christophe,not only are fighting their attraction to each other,keep Lady Gales’ two younger sister’s virture intact,they must also find a traitor and stay alive.This is a fast paced story full of action and intrigue. A must read for any historical romance,inspirational, and Regency romance readers. I can hardly wait for the next installment to see how the “Daughters of Bainbridge House” will find their happiness,keep their independence,and find the grooms of their future. “A Necessary Deception” is a necessary deception to keep England safe and find a traitor. Received for review from the publisher. Details can be found at Revell,a division of Baker Publishing Group and My Book Addiction Reveiws. ( )
  tarenn | Oct 14, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800734661, Paperback)

When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreamed he would turn up in her parlor. But just as the London Season is getting under way, there he is, along with a few other questionable personages. While she should be focused on helping her headstrong younger sister prepare for her entré into London society, Lady Gale finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting her family in danger?

Readers will enjoy being drawn into this world of elegance and intrigue, balls and masquerades. Author Laurie Alice Eakes whisks readers through the drawing rooms of London amid the sound of rustling gowns on this exciting quest to let the past stay in the past and let love guide the future.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:19 -0400)

"When young widow Lady Lydia Gale helps a French prisoner obtain parole, she never dreamed he would turn up in her parlor. But just as the London Season is getting under way, there he is, along with a few other questionable personages. While she should be focused on helping her headstrong younger sister prepare for her entre into London society, Lady Lydia finds herself preoccupied with the mysterious Frenchman. Is he a spy or a suitor? Can she trust him? Or is she putting her family in danger?"-- Cover verso.… (more)

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