The Seduction of an English Lady - Cathy Maxwell

DNF.  I don't understand why an author, who obviously knows practically nothing about the time period where she sets her books, would write historical romances. There were several historically dubious details in the book prior to the two that ended it for me, e.g. an army horse being used to drive a racing phaeton?  A cobbler's son being promoted to a colonel in the English Army?  I was willing to pass over these - maybe during the Napoleonic Wars the army really was desperate for leaders and promotion was more readily available to lower-class soldiers than otherwise. And I don't really know much about how horses were used in the 19th century. 


The first detail that killed the book for me is a plot detail. The hero comes to visit the heroine, who is packing up to move away to Cornwall in a few days, and brings her a "gift" - a rosebush to replace the one his horse apparently ate. Why on earth would he consider this a gift to the heroine?  She's moving away in a couple of days and will never see the rosebush again. In fact, the rosebush will actually be his, since he's bought the property and is moving into the house. The author, however, seems to think that this is just a wonderful and thoughtful gift on the hero's part that is certain to impress the heroine. Doesn't work for me.


The second detail is a line that says "which reminded him of nothing less than a burgher's wife gleaning wheat sheaves from the fields." (pg. 104) This is utter nonsense. A burgher is a "citizen of a town or city, typically a member of the wealthy bourgeoisie".   A burgher's wife would not be caught dead working in a grainfield like a common peasant! Second, the definition of gleaning is "to gather (leftover grain or other produce) after a harvest". Gleaning is done AFTER the wheat sheaves have been hauled way to be threshed, and would only be done by the poorest farmers who need every bit of grain they can get, or when the harvest has failed. Third, a wheat sheaf is "a bundle of grain stalks laid lengthwise and tied together after reaping."  Gleaning is not done on wheat sheaves, it's done in the stubble that is left over after the grain has been harvested. 



After this nonsense, I completely lost my interest in the book.