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Miss Lockharte's Letters by Barbara Metzger

Miss Lockharte's Letters

by Barbara Metzger

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When Rosellen Lockharte comes down with a severe case of influenza, she is determined not to shuffle off this mortal coil without airing a multitude of grievances. With the last of her strength she sends letters to those who have done her wrong - including the arrogant Viscount Stanford, and Rosellen's beautiful but malicious cousin Clarice. Once Rosellen recovers, she learns that her letters have landed her in a world of trouble. Her employers are turning her out, suspicious accidents abound in her vicinity, and Stanford is convinced she's trying to entrap him into marriage. And how can a penniless penmanship teacher hope to set everything right?

In case you hadn't gathered from the above, there's a heckuva lot going on in this relatively short story. I didn't even mention a number of side plots (and possible side romances) that are tidily wrapped up in a bow at the end, but which weren't really resolved satisfactorily. It seemed that the author realized about halfway through that she wasn't going to have enough pages to explain everything in detail, so she just dropped all but one or two major plot points.

So, I liked Rosellen, particularly when she was being snarky or calling our hero an arrogant prig. The girl definitely had gumption, especially given her predilection for getting into all sorts of accidents. But I also think that a lot of her spirit was lost because of her circumstances. She ended up being continually recovering from some injury or other and was never actually in a position to do anything on her own. She was forced to rely almost completely on Viscount Stanford, and the few situations where she took matters into her own hands (the fire) were merely alluded to rather than shown.

As to Stanford, I think Rosellen had it completely right. He is an arrogant prig. He insists that she must be suffering from hysterics and/or paranoia despite ample evidence that she is not one to let difficult circumstances turn her head. He spends most of the time behaving in an irritating autocratic manner which he excuses when he finally proposes by telling her that she won't let him boss her around, so it's all ok... His Great Transformation once he realizes she's in danger for once is rather pitiful all things considered, so I never got around to a part where I actually liked him. He was the same annoying man, he just started spouting pretty words instead of commands for a change.

I just wasn't impressed. It wasn't terrible. I liked the dog a great deal. But on the whole nothing about it really stood out to me.

Also posted at my blog ( )
  Caramellunacy | Nov 13, 2008 |
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This one's for Jimmie, for taking the dog's temperature, for sucking the water our of the headlamp, and for being here, my friend
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Miss Rosellen Lockharte was dying.
"I'd dress you in moonbeams and waltz you among the stars."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449001709, Mass Market Paperback)


Delirious with fever, Rosellen Lockharte summons all her strength to pen several letters from her attic deathbed. Soon all who set her willy-nilly on this path to perdition as a penmanship teacher will learn that in her final hour she forgave them. All except him. But why wait for Judgment Day to tell Viscount Stanford she thinks he is the most heinous of humans? Let her death be a burden to him forever.

But the burden, it appears, is on her. For not only has she cheated death, but now the very same man who ruined her life has--albeit, reluctantly--come to her rescue. Certainly, not even the angels above could have predicted the chaos that will ensue--nor the magic of unexpected love. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:11 -0400)

When Rosellen Lockharte, penmanship teacher at a girls school, believes she is dying from influenza, she feverishly pens letters to those who have, through various misdeeds, brought her to this pass. And to forgive them. Well, most of them. Let Lord Stanford bear the responsibility for her death always. Except that he arrives in time to rescue her. Originally published by Signet… (more)

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