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Lady Of Hidden Intent, A Paperback – Dec 1 2008
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From the Back Cover
A life of privilege becomes only a distant memory when Catherine Newbury's father is falsely imprisoned and she is whisked away from her home in England to America. Forced to disguise her past and create a completely new life, Catherine takes on a servant's last name and carves out a tenuous future for herself as a seamstress. Soon her dress designs are sought throughout Philadelphia.
When the dashing Carter Danby accompanies his mother and sister for a design consultation, Catherine suddenly encounters her past face-to-face. Is Carter's avid interest in her genuine...or does he, as she suspects, recognize her as the young lady he met while touring England? She cannot deny the attraction, but admitting her true identity may jeopardize her father's only hope for freedom. Will Catherine be forced to sacrifice her dreams of love?
About the Author
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 70 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Belgrade, Montana.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Five years later, in Philadelphia, Carter Danby accompanies his mother and sister to the dressmakers. The fashion designer, Catherine Shay, strikes a familiar chord with him, but he can not place when and where he has seen her. Curious about her past, and wanting to know her better, Carter asks his friend to investigate her.
Catherine recognizes Carter immediately, but says nothing. Instead she turns her attetion to drawing out Carter's sister, Winnifred. Winnifred is a shy, retiring girl with few friends and an overbearing mother. Catherine listens to Winnifred's desires for her dress,and also becomes her friend.
This is an enjoyable read because of the interactions of the characters. I also enjoy that Catherine is such a compassionate, strong character. The relationship that develops between Catherine and Carter draws you in and keeps you turning the pages as you wonder what will happen next.
Later that night, Catherine's stable and indulgent world is turned up-side down. Her father's business partner has corrupted the company and fled, leaving Mr. Newbury to take the brunt of the punishment. In fear of Catherine's safety, Mr. Newbury sends her, along with two of his loyal servants to America. Five years later, Catherine has taken on the sir name of Shay, and finds herself as a much sought after seamstress in Philadelphia. Saving all her money for her father's defense, she lives in sadness from both the separation and the concern for his well being.
When Carter Danby accompanies his mother and sister to the local seamstress, he is introduced to Catherine and sense something about her. Catherine immediately recognizes Carter and does her best to stay out of his watchful eye. Carter is intrigued by the women who labors, yet has an air of sophistication and upbringing. He intends to find out more about Catherine Shay.
Though Catherine is quite sweet and considerate of all those she works with, Felicia is not taken in or appreciative of Catherine's charms. She senses she is not who she claims to be and decides to find out what she can about Catherine's past.
A LADY OF HIDDEN INTENT is another fine book by Tracie Peterson. Catherine, though demure and sweet, is also stoic and single minded in seeing her father exonerated and freed. Carter is quite charming and will stop at nothing to secure Catherine at his side.
I enjoyed A LADY OF HIDDEN INTENT, though I felt at times certain plots were left flat. So much more could of become of Felicia hateful ways or Carter Danby's father's balance of business and corruption. Other than that, it was an entertaining read as always.
Five years later in Philadelphia, Catherine is a popular dress designer who desperately needs to find a way to prove her father is innocent and get him released from prison; only her belief in God keeps her going. American architect Carter Danby, whom her dad introduced to her on her last party night in England, sees her when he escorts his mother and sister for a fitting, but does not recognize her. Still he desires her and wants to help her as he believes by her demeanor that she is carrying a dark mystery, but though she finds him attractive, she refuses to reveal her secret as she trusts no one except God since her father was incarcerated falsely.
A LADY OF HIDDEN INTENT is an entertaining inspirational Victorian romance. Catherine holds the story line together as she changes from pampered debutante to self sufficient designer while never losing sight of her objective or her faith in God not man. Sub-genre readers will appreciate this fine heartening historical.
The religious aspects of the novel were integrated nicely. I didn't feel like I was being hammered over the head with sermons all the time.
I read at "above average" speed, and can finish a book of this length in maybe 4-6 hours. Had I been a slower reader, maybe this book would have dragged a bit more. If you take a few days to finish a book, you might not be as forgiving; but for me, it was okay.
Catherine's story is one of riches to rags; her whole world is changed when her wealthy father is falsely accused of criminal activity, leaving her no choice but to flee the country and change her name for fear of being discovered, innocent though she is. This type of scenario generally dictates the heroine will end up working as a servant or housemaid, so I found it refreshing that Catherine ended up as a seamstress instead. And not just any seamstress, but an accomplished one, so much so that she actually gained notoriety and fame under her assumed name. She is a likable character, and though her world has been forever changed and she is often over-worked, she manages to keep a mostly hopeful outlook on life as she dreams of the day when her father's name might be cleared and she can be reunited with him.
While I liked Catherine, I have to admit that I *loved* Carter! He is just an absolute doll. I loved how even though Catherine acted standoff-ish towards him, he still continued to pursue her, even being quite persistent at times! He orchestrated clever ways to spend time with her, which was quite a feat considering they live in completely different social classes. When Catherine was vague in her conversation, Carter didn't let it deter him, often giving her a playful or flirtatious remark in response. This could make him sound like a cad, but that's far from the truth; he never acted inappropriately, he was just very honest about his intentions towards her. Sadly, Carter's family was a total mess, behaving in unlawful and immoral ways, but it was really cool to see how he strived to live a godly life even while still living under his parents' roof. He is just a gem of a character, and if I could rip him out of the pages into reality, I think I just might do so!
If there's one thing I wasn't crazy about, I'd have to say it was the character of Lydia. I was annoyed by the fact that she couldn't be content with the good situation she had; she insisted on letting her jealousy of Catherine's talents get the better of her, causing trouble for everyone in the process. Of course all stories do need an antagonist to stir up conflict, and Lydia obviously fit the role well. All things considered, she was really no more than a minor annoyance, but I just thought I'd include her to round out my review, instead of it being a total gush-fest for the story. :)
This is the second book in the Ladies of Liberty series, but it could easily act as a standalone; there is nothing that ties this book to the previous one aside from a short appearance by a minor character from the first book. I highly highly recommend this novel, especially if you are a fan of historicals. It's quite enjoyable, and one of the best historicals I've read in quite a while.
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