Victoria is only 17 years old and an orphan when she is betrothed to Charles, a titled military man of 38, considered a fine catch . His outward charm masks a stern, controlling nature which Victoria starts getting whiffs of even before the wedding, but youthful inexperience and naivity make a dangerous combination.
While at the family
estate in the months before their planned wedding, Victoria becomes
companion to Charles' brother Hugo (at home recovering from temporary
blindness) and starts falling for his easy nature. Still, even after a
taste of what true love is she feels honor bound to go through with her
marriage to Charles.
What follows is a diasterous marriage,
family feud, tragedy and war. Both brothers (being military men) are
assigned to the Crimea. Victoria goes along as a military wife. She has
to deal with the violence of her husband and the smoldering glances of
Hugo. Added to that is sickness, storms, starvation and the turmoil of
war. Injury and death doesn't even begin to cover what becomes a full
scale blood bath in the infamous "charge of the light brigade "
Drummond writes in a gripping, readable style. Her characters LIVE
(and yeah, they die too) and even if you dont like them you want to
know what becomes of them. So Scarlet Shadows kept me turning the pages.
saying that, its not a cheerful read. And I didn't enjoy it as much as
"Forget the Glory ". (By the way both SS and FTG are based on the
Crimean war so there are similarities between them and some of the same
events are mentioned.)
So whose the better hero? Hugo (in SS) or
Rowan (in FTG) . Hmmmm. Both are angsty tortured heroes. Very hard to
choose. Hugo sees Victoria's worth from the very start which is sooo
sweet, while Rowan has to have Mary pounded over his head for him to see
her as more than a maid. But still, once he sees her, TRULY sees
The better heroine? Victoria (in SS) or Mary (in FTG) ?
Mary, hands down.
: Non explicit (but nonetheless mature) scene of marital rape, past
dalliances on the part of male characters are mentioned. Passionate
PROFANITY : Pretty mild. D 's and B 's.
VIOLENCE : Brief but intense battle scenes.
MY RATING: Strong PG 13
Recommended for: NA and A readers