Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll

Click here to get this book on Amazon

Their story began somewhere in Belgium, in the midst of war: Ned served as a spy for the British and Jane had escaped her grandfather's guardianship to learn more about medicine. Amidst the danger, they succumb to man's very primal need for companionship -- and then went their separate ways.

Except they never forgot each other, or that one night they shared all those years ago.

Their paths should never have crossed again, if not for Ned's brother, Liam's insistence that Ned settle his future. And so Ned travels to Bedfordshire, where his intended intended lives (there is an understanding but no engagement) -- and it also happens to be where Jane lives and serves as the village surgeon.

Their paths should never have crossed again, if not for Ned's poor sense of direction as he was going to Barrington Manor.

But fate has a way of leading lovers back to their true loves -- and so Ned finds Jane again.

There are so many questions and not so many answers for both of them. What happened to them after that one night? Did he ever try to look for her? Does she ever think of him? And who is Violet? As the pieces slowly fall into place, Ned must step up, grow up and do what he must to keep his new family together.

The beginning of the story grabs you and the situation that Ned and Jane find themselves in is not uncommon -- with death always a step behind, they develop an understanding: that this moment, this feeling, was all they would have and hold for as long as the war raged on. Then our hero and heroine are separated -- but we know that they will find their way back to each other again. The only question is, how?

And Maureen Driscoll answers it so wonderfully -- ah, the irony of Liam's edict that Ned go to Bedfordshire to sort out the long-standing agreement between the Kellingtons and the Merrimans so that Ned's future would have some direction. And, indeed, Ned found it -- direction, in the form of Jane and her daughter, Violet. Finding Jane again was the easy part -- discovering how he would fit in Jane's world and how Jane would fit into his world was the difficult part.

Then there is the added complication of Jane's grandfather and the very annoying Madeleine Merriman but Ned and Jane try their best to work things out -- with very human hesitation and uncertainty. They don't know how they can be together (or why -- they figure love out much later) but they know they need to be together if they want to overcome all the obstacles in their path.

I think I may have found a new family to love. The Kellingtons are a very interesting family: with William, the duke, as head of the family and his brothers, Ned, Arthur, Hal and sister, Lizzie. I love how Driscoll introduces them very subtly -- not overwhelming the readers with an overload of information but by tucking in thoughtful details about them in the story -- after you finish reading Ned's story, you would be interested to read more about the rest of them (I am most intrigued about Liam).

A bit of a warning: the story is a bit trope-heavy: with a secret baby, an evil rival and her family who maltreat servants, Jane's secret identity (see: first part of the book, when Jane decides to give Ned a different name, loc 150 to loc 288), etc. BUT I honestly didn't mind them. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.

Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid is Maureen Driscoll's debut novel and the first book in her Kellington Family series. To find out more about the author and her books, click below:


  1. Oh, this sounds very interesting, I'll have to check it out! Great review :)

    Also, I nominated you for the Sunshine Award, if you want to check it out, my post for it is here,

  2. Thank you so much for giving the Kellingtons a chance. I really appreciate it. And, believe it or not, I never thought about the irony in Liam's edict 'til you pointed it out!

  3. Hi, Maureen! I was really happy to have read your book. A question, by the way: can I read the series out of order? I really want to read Liam's story but he's book 5. ^_^

    Hi, Cerian!

    Thank you for dropping by and for your comment! I now follow you on GFC and Bloglovin. (Very curious to read your thoughts on Tammy Faulkner's debut novel. I have it on my TBR.)

    Have a great day!



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