Title: Love Remembered
Author: Ellen Fisher
Published in 2003 by New Concepts Publishing
It was a long time ago, and a very humble beginning, but he had survived. That was saying a lot considering the nightmares that constantly plagued him.. He was rather sure that his father had tried to kill him by burning the house down around him, and it might have worked if not for his sister’s efforts. Gladys had saved him from the flames, as his father just watched with that cold far away look in his eyes. Gwaltney Harris has grown strong in spite of the lack of love from his father. He always felt that the man blamed him for his mother’s death, because ever since she had died, his father had gotten colder and colder toward him. Now, he’s facing his best friend and a scheme to give Gwaltney the respectability he wanted. Gwaltney has come a long ways since those days of his youth, growing up poor as the youngest son of a wheelwright. Gwaltney is now a gentleman with more than some of those who claimed respect. He had worked for it, saved and invested, purchased his property carefully, and now the investments have paid off.
His best friend Jonathan Powell is on his case now, and apparently has picked Gwaltney a bride. The lady in Jonathan’s sights is Cordelia Ashton, by all accounts a girl with quite a nasty temper. She had the reputation of being a real shrew, but Jonathan knows that Gwaltney can have her. Her father is also desperate to get her married, and therefore, Gwaltney is assured of a generous hearing. Gwaltney doesn’t have the faith that Jonathan has, but he cannot help but go for the girl. After all, he is not really looking for love, but respect and acceptance, and Cordelia may just be his key to accomplishing that goal. There is something behind Jonathan’s choice of bride for Gwaltney, but although the feeling is string, he has no idea what it is, but that can wait. For now, he will see what he can do towards securing the intriguing shrew that is Mistress Cordelia Ashton, sharp tongue, respectability, and all.
The best she can hope for is to be thought of as an incorrigible shrew, and Cordelia Ashton is playing the part to the hilt. She has received a dubious reputation in the colonies, and many a suitor has been rudely rebuffed by her to the point that her father, unknown to her, would be very, very willing to give her hand to the lowest of the low if it meant that she would be married. He did not understand her reasons for not accepting a suitor and getting married, for not wanting a husband, but that was not Cordelia’s problem. She was determined to stay unmarried, and that was that. No amount of maneuvering by her father was going to change her mind. The only on e who is really aware of her scheme is her younger sister, and Elizabeth is not telling. Cordelia can only hope that Jonathan Powell offers for her sister soon. If Elizabeth gets married, then maybe her father will forget this obsession that he has for marrying her off as well.
She is very happy at home, and feels that her talents are not wasted looking after her father. As a matter of fact, the last thing that she really wants is to be married, and certainly not to Gwaltney Harris. Even as hard as she has tried to avoid marriage, and as handsome as Gwaltney is, he is just too far below her and that is just for starters. What she isn’t counting on is her father’s determination to provide her with a husband, and the fact that he doesn’t seem to mind that Gwaltney is courting her has her all in a twist. None of the tricks that have worked before are working now. Nothing that she has tried so far has put him off, the only thing she has managed to do is cause her father and her sister pain. The decision lies only in her hands. It is her choice, submit to marriage, or ruin her sister’s chances at happiness as well. Now Cordelia needs to decide where and how her loyalties are lying and are going to lie. Does she give in to the dictates of common sense and decency, or does she remain selfish, stubborn, and headstrong and ruin not only her life, but her sister Elizabeth’s as well?
Welcome to Ellen Fisher. Welcome and thank you for a wonderful and exciting read. Love Remembered, set in the new world colony of Virginia of the late 1700’s, is a strong story about a young woman who has not yet met with everything life has to offer. Due to an early experience with an unscrupulous suitor, she was badly hurt by what she thought was love. Now, in an attempt to keep herself safe, Cordelia Ashton seems willing to sacrifice others so she can maintain what she considers to be her best chance at happiness. She had trusted James Spencer with her heart, and he ripped it to shreds. As a result of this pain, Cordelia is totally unprepared for Gwaltney Harris, and his assault. He quickly turns her into a confused mass of nerves, and she soon finds herself married much against her will. As the fates unwind the threads, Cordelia must come to terms with the man who is her husband. Now she must realize that true love does come to the patient, and must try to regain what she has so carelessly thrown away.
Love Remembered is a poignant story of love that is almost foolishly tossed away as trash. It is the gripping story and the journey of two people coming to terms with the love they have for one another and the prejudices they are fighting against. It is a tale of how hate, prejudice, and class distinction can try to thwart even Cupid in his bid to bring wayward lovers to heed his call. Love Remembered will make you laugh and cry, and will allow you a glimpse into what the lives of some of the early colonists was truly like. Ellen has done a remarkable job, and I can definitely give this book from New Concepts a two thumbs up. Love Remembered is one book you will go back to again and again.
Yours in good reading,