Barely a Lady - Eileen Dreyer Barely A Lady takes place in Europe, in the year 1815. Divorce as we know it does not exist in this time. In these times, a divorced woman is shunned from polite society and is converted to being a persona non grata. Such is the fate Olivia Grace has endured as a scheme orchestrated by her husband’s cousin – the vile and perverted Gervaise, tears her marriage apart to Jack, the Earl of Gracechurch. Grace’s gullible husband, Jack, readily (and without proof) believes his cousin Gervaise that his wife is being unfaithful to him. Without preamble, Jack puts a three month pregnant Grace out of his house, only to shortly divorce her. Five years pass and Napoleon has Europe under siege. Grace has struggled to make ends meet by finding employment wherever she can – all while trying to hide her identity and her location from Gervaise, who relentlessly pursues her, trying to get her to be his. During Napoleon’s last stand at Waterloo, Grace meets Lady Kate, a young, single, and wealthy duchess who accepts her for who she is, and her friend, Grace Fairchild, the daughter of an English general. In the aftermath of the battle, the women band together, taking in the wounded and helping however they can. While searching for Grace’s father after the battle, Olivia happens to find her former husband, Jack, wounded in the battlefield. He’s wearing a French uniform, so if he is caught, he will immediately be put to death. Without a second thought, Olivia rescues him and takes him to tend to his wounds – all the while hiding his identity from the rest of her friends. When Jack wakes up, he has amnesia with no recollection of the past five years and thinks Olivia is still his wife. But as he slowly begins to recover his memory, everyone realizes there is more to his story than they ever thought possible. I have a confession, Fellow Readers. It’s been a long . . . long . . . time since I read a Historical Romance. Though I can’t remember the date or the actual book, it must have been when I was a teenager–sometime in the late 1980’s! LOL So please forgive me if I’m a bit rusty on my expectations on this genre. Language. I had some . . . technical difficulties I guess you could say, in reading the language of the times. I think I wore out my Kindle dictionary because there were some words on there I had no clue what they meant, and neither did Kindle. There were also several characters who spoke with an accent which made it a tough read for me. But that was just a minor setback for me enjoying this book. Storyline. The main issue I had with Barely A Lady had to do with the storyline. Okay, let me explain. So fast forwarding a few decades from the 1980’s, I’ve been in my share of relationships and I currently have a 15 year marriage and a child under my belt. My naivety of seeing life through rose tinted glasses is a bit tainted, but I’m a hopeless romantic and can’t help myself when a Happily Ever After (HEA) is promised. Still, there’s a part of me that cannot imagine taking back a man who carelessly threw me away after being married and giving him a child. To relate Barely A Lady to today’s time – it would be the equivalent of being left by a husband in a foreign country while being pregnant and you didn’t understand the language, or the customs, and you were without a friend or a dime to your name. There would be no consulate around the corner. You would be alone and have no one to call for help. If I were in that situation, to say I would be angry with my ex would be an understatement, so if I were to miraculously survive through it all and five years later see said ex-husband on a battlefield – dying – with no witnesses, or cameras around . . . umm . . . it would be a no brainer. I wouldn’t risk my life, or that of my friends who actually helped me, and involve myself in whatever he was doing – much less tend to his wounds and nurse him to health all while he mutters his current lover’s name every time I’m tending to him. But that’s just my personal hang up coming into play. Barely A Lady is very well written and Eileen Dreyer (ED) did an amazing job researching the time period. She mixes in intrigue and suspense masterfully in this book, and had there been another man who did value Grace in the story, and he would have been her love interest, Barely A Lady would have been one of my favorite books. But when Grace takes back her ex-husband, it made me lose all respect for her. But, in Grace’s defense, I understand in the 1800’s this was exactly what would denote an HEA. It would be the only way for Grace to 'clear’ her name of the slander she had been subjected to and return to her previous life where people didn’t treat her like a pariah. Still, it was a tough read for me.Another plus in this book was the sexxy scenes! They were phenomenal and hottt! Can’t wait to see what other positions storylines ED has in the rest of the books in this series. I just hope they don’t feature similar themes where women take back men who aren’t worth a damn. *crossing fingers*