A SOLDIER'S TALE
Pippa has been a guest at the Alderly estate for a long while, ever since her father went missing. With few apparent prospects, she does her best not to be a burden on Lady Alderly and those around her. Meanwhile, Hermione, the young lady of the house, waits for Dominic Alderly to return from the war so they can be wed. But when Dominic returns, his war wounds horrify everyone who has been waiting for him. The only one who doesn’t seem to mind them is the compassionate Pippa, whose beauty and kindness quickly capture Dominic’s heart.
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©ELIZABETH ROLLS / ERI NAKANUKI
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- who's beauty and who's beast 5
- JAB 06/04/2018
I really liked this historical romance for it's play on words. The hero and heroine are distant cousins who lived together as children when the heroine's father went to India to get his fortune. Then the hero went to war and the heroine battled the loneliness and cruelty of her relatives (hero's mother & uncle) because she's burden to the family. Now, he's coming back from the war and to a full house of female schemers. Them being the hero's mother who wants the hero to go back to his former fiancée who broke their engagement(she plays it off that he broke it off to save face) because he was going off to war and she couldn't handle the idea of him getting hurt. They're all a fuss about what play till the OW (ex-fiancée) thinks of Beauty and the Beast with her and the hero being in the main roles. Now, a woman as vain as her would be able to spell the word Beauty, yes? Noooooo, she can't even spell, despite coming from a noble background that would have placed her education of reading and writing. Luckily, the heroine is the perfect scrapegoat to write out the play and have the OW pass it off as her own. The heroine can't say anything because the hero's Tyrannical mother who match Shakespeare's Volumnia demands it and uses the fact she's been a burden to the house. So, the heroine gives in and writes the playThe hero comes back but he has many scars that makes the OW and mother revile in fear. The heroine only reacts negatively because she was awoken by the hero, wasn't informed of his arrival, and thought it was the lecherous uncle. Once the heroine sees the hero, she knows the play must not happen because it would play a mockery on the hero's appearance and insults. Both the hero's mother and OW are some of the most insensitive creatures in the story. The mother wants to cancel the ball because she doesn't want the hero to show his ugly appearance now and the OW still wants to go along with the play, despite the heroine's warning about how the hero would feel. The hero lies in the study to rest after learning about the uncle's bad investments have caused ruin to the family. Luckily, he overhears the OW & mother plan to marry because his ugliness makes him attractive. How? Well, if the OW marries the scarred and hurt hero then she'll be seen as a martyr for marrying the an ugly man. So, to play on words, the hero is the beast who's also the beauty. Sadly, for the OW, the hero overhears and makes it his mission that he'll never marry the OW. He goes on a walk and runs into the heroine. They have a talk and he sees what a kind and selfless girl she really is. I really liked how he shut his mother up when she berates the heroine for bringing in an animal into the house. He then confronts her on the heroine's dowry, which was stolen by the uncle to fund the bad investments with the mother's knowledge. So, the heroine who's a real beauty in appearance and personality is seen as a beastly (pun intended) choice for any man of nobility to be looking for wife. Then he finds out about the play and disgusted by the lack of insensitivity that the OW & mother have thought of him and the heroine for writing it. Luckily, the OW is stupid enough to admits to writing the whole play. The heroine apologizes for having played a part in writing the play but the hero forgives her because he sees that the heroine couldn't go against the mother. The hero devises a plan to have the OW and the heroine to switch roles in the play, which she happily agrees to. The heroine gains a couple more allies when the hero's sister and her family arrive to act out in the play. As the hero spends more and more time with the heroine, he sees that she's the woman that he wants to spend the rest of his life with. There are a couple of obstacles: the hero is cornered by OW but he's able to brush her off quickly then the heroine is cornered by the drunk uncle but is saved by the hero. The next morning, the during their daily walk, the hero expresses his wish to marry the heroine because of what a wonderful person. Now, the heroine wants a little time but one night when the hero kisses the heroine, the OW catches and has it look like the heroine has seduced the hero and therefore has caused shame in front of the mother who believes her over the heroine. Then who comes in but the hero's long lost father who's returned from India. The hero and the father have a talk with the OW commenting about the hero and heroine's scandalous encounter. The heroine's father waits for the hero's response to this and he tells the father that he loves the heroine no matter how small her dowry is and expresses his wish to marry her. The father satisfied with his answer, comments that he was worried that the heroine would have a hard time finding a good man after he then empties one of his pouches that filled with jewels. The mother is so shocked that she faints and I hope nobody was able to catch her in time. So, the hero's family financial situation is solved and they announce their wedding and engagement to the public after ending the play. Then they get a tradition of showing who's going to be queen of the twelfth night since it's the hero. A name is drawn and it's the heroine's name. When the two of them are married, they go through the jar filled with names and filled that every piece of paper has the heroine's name written on it. They're all written by the people who support their marriage, even the OW writes the heroine's name. The story ends on a happy note that the beauties and the beasties have found their true love.
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